- Olympics & Paralympics
Zelenskyy Vows Campaign to Prevent Russia from Competing in Olympics
12:26 JST, January 28, 2023
BERLIN (Reuters) — Ukraine will launch an international campaign to prevent Russian athletes from being allowed to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympics, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday.
Sports Minister Vadim Guttsait earlier said Ukraine would not rule out boycotting the Games if Russian and Belarusian athletes took part. They have been banned in some sports while they are allowed to compete under a neutral flag in others.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), eager to see them back in major competitions, said on Wednesday the Olympic Council of Asia had offered Russian and Belarusian athletes the chance to compete in Asia, giving them a qualification pathway for the Paris Olympics.
Today we will a start a marathon for fair play aimed at clearing the management of international Olympic structures of hypocrisy as well as (preventing) any attempts to drag representatives of the terrorist state into world sport, Zelenskyy said in a video address.
It is obvious that any neutral flag of Russian athletes would be stained with blood … Olympic principles and war are fundamentally opposed to each other.
In a tweet following his speech, Zelenskyy called on IOC President Thomas Bach to visit the war-torn city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, which has been the stage of intense fighting.
I invite Mr. Bach to Bakhmut. So that he could see with his own eyes that neutrality does not exist, Zelenskyy wrote.
Last month Zelenskyy told Bach he opposed the idea of Russian athletes taking part under any kind of neutral banner in the 2024 Summer Games.
The IOC is eager to include Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutrals at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that any attempt to squeeze Moscow out of international sport was “doomed to fail”.
Guttsait, writing on Facebook, said if Ukraine failed to ensure the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes, “I do not rule out the possibility that we will boycott and refuse participation in the Olympics.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, many sports organizations have moved events and suspended Russian teams or athletes, while sponsors have ended contracts in protests against the war.
Russian strikes have claimed the lives of hundreds of Ukrainians who could have enriched world sport with their talent, said Zelenskyy.
"Sports" POPULAR ARTICLE
Sumo: Former Ozeki Tochinoshin Retires with Ceremonial Snip of His Top-knot
Kotonowaka Takes on First Duty as Ozeki in Setsubun Ceremony; Event Took Place at Tsubaki Shrine in Mie Prefecture
Ex-yokozuna Hakuho to Face Demotion in JSA over Violence by Stable’s Wrestler
Kiyoto Hirabayashi of Kokugakuin University Wins Osaka Marathon V; Does Not Break Qualifying Time for Paris Olympics
Criminal Complaints Filed by Japan Soccer Player Junya Ito, 2 Women
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Current Account Surplus Doubles in ’23
- Business, Labor Leaders Reaffirm Vow to Raise Wages in Shunto Talks
- Japan Real Wages Fall at Steepest Pace in 9 Years in 2023
- Pressure Mounting for Wage Increases in Shunto Negotiations; Fears about the Response of Struggling SMEs
- North Korean Workers in China Riot over Unpaid Wages; 2,000 Occupy Factory, Kill Plant Manager