IOC President Thomas Bach opens an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne. GETTY IMAGES

Moscow's criticism of Olympic restrictions on Russian athletes was beyond unacceptable and had reached a "new low," the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Wednesday. "It goes beyond anything that is acceptable," he added.

The IOC on Tuesday both barred Russian athletes from taking part in the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics on 26 July and criticised the Kremlin for planning to hold its own "Friendship Games" to rival those held in the French capital.

Those decisions drew the ire of the Kremlin, with Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying they "show how far the IOC has strayed from its stated principles and slipped into racism and neo-Nazism."

When Bach was asked about the comments, the German gave a curt response before asking spokesman Adams to take over. There are "more quotes coming from Russia that are extremely aggressive and as some of them are also very personal, if you will allow me, I would like to ask Mark Adams to respond to this question," the IOC President said.

Adams stressed: "We've seen some very aggressive statements coming out of Russia today, but there's one comment that actually goes beyond that, we've even seen one that links the president, his nationality and the Holocaust, and that's completely unacceptable and reaches a new low."

Asked if security had been increased around Bach, Adams said: "As far as security is concerned, I think it's good to remind you that we can't talk about the details of security and understand that given the current geopolitical situation, and with the impact it has on the IOC and its president, all appropriate measures have been taken."

The IOC suspended Russia from Paris 2024 last year, but allowed them to compete as neutrals as long as they did not actively support the Kremlin's attack on Ukraine. Zakharova argued that this neutral status forced Russian athletes to "renounce any connection with their homeland, citizenship, history, culture and people". "The IOC's decisions are illegal, unjust and unacceptable. We are outraged by the unprecedented discrimination," she stressed.

Russia's anger comes a day after the IOC issued a strongly worded statement accusing the Kremlin accusing the Kremlin of "politicising sport" by planning to hold its own Friendship Games. Announced several months ago, the first edition of the Summer Friendship Games "will be held in Moscow and Yekaterinburg" next September, the IOC said, with the first winter edition to take place in 2026 in Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. 

The IOC called on the sporting world and governments invited by Moscow to "reject any participation in and support for" the event, but stopped short of sanctioning those who do. The Kremlin warned the IOC against such sanctions on Wednesday. "This is intimidation of the athletes. It completely undermines the credibility of the IOC," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.