Ukraine could boycott 2024 Paris Olympics if Russia allowed to compete

Ukraine could boycott the 2024 Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete
Ukraine could boycott the 2024 Paris Olympics
Ukraine could boycott the 2024 Paris Olympics

(Sports news) According to Ukraine’s sports minister, the country could boycott the 2024 Paris Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete. The International Olympic Committee has already said that it is exploring pathways to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals. The move has received a lot of criticism with the UK Government saying that the plan was a “world away from the reality of war”.

“Our position is unchanged. As long as there is a war in Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian athletes should not be in international competitions. If we are not heard, I do not rule out the possibility that we will boycott and refuse participation in the Olympics. I hope all the federations, athletes and the entire civilised world pay attention now and we won’t have to resort to extremes” said Ukraine sports minister Vadym Guttsait.

Writing on his Facebook page, Guttsait also said that Ukraine’s sporting bodies need to “strengthen communication” with international federations to keep the ban in place and are working on “further possible steps” to continue sanctions. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Russian athletes have “no place”

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said the UK Government “condemns any action that allows President Putin to legitimise his illegal war in Ukraine. This position from the IOC is a world away from the reality of war being felt by the Ukrainian people – and IOC president [Thomas] Bach’s own words less than a year ago where he strongly condemned Russia for breaking the Olympic Truce and urged it to ‘give peace a chance’. We, and many other countries, have been unequivocal on this throughout, and we will now work urgently across like-minded countries to ensure that solidarity continues on this issue.”

A statement released by the IOC said “no athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport”. Thomas Bach said last month that they did not want to punish individual athletes for the actions of their governments. However, World Athletics has echoed Ukraine’s sentiments with regards to Russian athletes competing, saying that the ban must continue for major sporting events.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said “All athletes, regardless of their nationality or the passport they hold, should be able to compete in sports competitions.” Meanwhile, the International Paralympic Committee said it will follow the decision of the International Olympic Committee with regards to participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes. IPC president Andrew Parsons said “We wish to reiterate that we hope and pray that the conflict comes to an end, that no more lives are taken, and that we can run sports and politics separately.”

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