Ukrainian President Wants Russian Athletes Banned From Olympics

Ukrainian President Wants Russian Athletes Banned From Olympics

In a recent nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that it was unacceptable for Russian athletes to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Zelensky believes that allowing the Russians to compete would show that terror is somehow acceptable.

He recently raised the issue with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“To bring Russian athletes back into the Olympic Games are attempts to tell the whole world that terror is somehow acceptable” Zelensky said in his recent nightly address video.

International Olympic Committee Decision

The International Olympic Committee has already decided that Russian and Belarusian athletes would be allowed to compete as neutrals at the Olympics. The IOC also came out and said that no athlete should be prevented from competing because of their passport.

While the IOC has provided a pathway for Russian athletes that have not openly supported the war to qualify for Paris, the Ukraine government has not been accepting of the decision.

Aside from outwardly speaking out on the conversation, Zelensky threatened that Ukrainian athletes will boycott the Olympics if Russian athletes are allowed to compete. Zelensky stands beside his decision, as he believes there is no neutrality in sport while his country’s athletes are still dying on the battlefield.

Ukrainian President Wants Russian Athletes Banned

Zelensyk’s comments were made around the same time Russian forces continued to bombard the Ukrainian region of Kherson.

The Ukrainian Presidents says that Russia shouldn’t be allowed to use the Olympics or any other sport event as propaganda for its aggression or its state chauvinism.

Zenlensky added that, “It is obvious that any neutral flag of Russian athletes is stained with blood.”

The Ukrainian President hasn’t been alone in his criticism of the IOC.

A joint statement released by Athletes for Ukraine and athlete association Global Athlete states that the IOC’s decision shows that they endorse Russia’s brutal war and invasion of Ukraine.

“The return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competition, especially the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, will see the Russian state use athletes once more to bolster the war effort and distract from the atrocities in Ukraine on one of the biggest multi-sport stages in the world,” released in the statement.

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