MK Yoel Razvozov has protested to the International Olympic Committee that some countries refuse to fly the Israeli flag at sports events. He wrote to IOC President Thomas Bach, saying: "In recent years we have witnessed a worrying and growing tendency, which requires your personal attention. We increasingly see countries condition the participation of Israeli athletes at international competitions on the removal of the Israeli flag and all symbols of the State of Israel."
Mr. Razvozov, Chair of the Lobby for the Promotion of Sports in the Knesset, and a member of the Yesh Atid party, added, "This is a blatant and gross interference of politics in sport. It is a violation of the Olympic spirit of which you are a guardian."
Mr. Razvozov did not cite any examples of this practice, and there have been no such incidents in Rio, but over the past year alone Israel's judo champions, Yarden Gerbi and Sagi Muki, were forced to remove the Israeli flag from their uniform before competing in the Grand Slam tournament in Abu Dhabi. Both won bronze medals in Abu Dhabi. In another such instance, Maayan Davidovich was forced to remove the Israeli flag from her sails before competing in the World Windsurfing Championships in Oman last October.
The letter asks Mr. Bach to instruct all sports federations to prohibit "the continued exclusion of Israeli symbols." The letter is signed by all 10 MKs on the Lobby for the Promotion of Sports, from right and left, including Abdullah Abu Maaruf of the Joint Arab List.
Mr Bach is yet to respond to the letter.