Will there be Russian athletes at the Paris Olympics in just over a year and a half? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky answers in the negative. Following a telephone interview with the French Head of State, the Ukrainian President asked Emmanuel Macron for the non-participation of Russian athletes in 2024. “I particularly insisted on the fact that Russian athletes do not must not have their place at the Paris Olympics, ”said Volodymyr Zelensky on Telegram.
Russia invaded Ukraine from its territory and that of Belarus on February 24, three days after the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, in violation of the Olympic truce (which extends from one week before the start of the Olympic Games to one week after the end of the Paralympic Games). The International Olympic Committee (IOC) quickly sanctioned Moscow and Minsk. Since then, no international sporting events are organized or supported in Russia or Belarus and no national symbols of these countries are displayed during a sporting event.
The IOC wants to extend the sanctions in 2023
In a message at the end of the year, IOC President Thomas Bach said he wanted to see his sporting sanctions extended into 2023. “These sanctions against Russian and Belarusian states and governments must and will remain firmly in place, he had specified. We want to see a strong team from Ukraine at the Paris 2024 Olympics and the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.”
In mid-December, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had already called for Russian athletes to be placed in “complete isolation” from all international competitions. He had also indicated to Thomas Bach his firm opposition to the position taken by the American Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which had said in mid-December that it was favorable to the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in the Paris Olympics on condition that they not wear the colors of their countries.