Tuesday October 3, 2023

Ukraine Unleashes Strong Criticism of IOC Over Russian Athletes

  • Last year, the IOC recommended that Russian athletes be indefinitely suspended from international competitions.
  • On Jan. 25, the IOC said that no athlete should “be prevented from competing just because of their passport.”
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The International Olympic Committee is facing backlash after it considered allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

Ukrainian officials accused the IOC of promoting war by mulling whether to allow those athletes to qualify for the Games following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The inclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics would give Russia “a platform to promote genocide,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. 

  • Following Russia’s invasion, the IOC recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes be indefinitely suspended from competing in international competitions. 
  • Earlier this month, the governing body said that no athlete should “be prevented from competing just because of their passport.” 

Olympic committees around the world have taken diverse stances on the issue. 

The Olympic Council of Asia has offered Russian and Belarusian athletes the chance to compete in Asia, while the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee believes Russian and Belarusian athletes should compete in the Games, but not under their nation’s flags or colors. 

Committees in Europe have been torn on whether to allow the athletes, with groups from Germany, France, Greece, Italy, and the U.K. not providing a firm position on the issue.

Countries Torn When It Comes to Allowing Russians in Olympics

Olympic committees throughout Europe are considering whether to allow Russian athletes.
January 25, 2023

Different Approaches 

The IOC joins several sports-related organizations making tough decisions regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes.

FIFA and UEFA have banned those athletes from competing, while the NHL and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships are allowing them to participate.

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