The IOC would like to see representatives of Russia and Belarus as neutral athletes at the Olympics. The mayor of the French capital, Hidalgo, initially allowed such a course of the games, but with increasing international pressure, she reconsidered her original position. “As long as this war continues, this Russian aggression against Ukraine, it is impossible to pretend that nothing happened and let the Russian delegation come to Paris while bombs continue to rain down on Ukraine,” Hidalgo said.
The mayor of the French capital could only imagine Russian and Belarusian dissidents in Paris, i.e. athletes who publicly speak out against the war in Ukraine and face persecution by the state in their countries because of it. According to her, they could compete in the refugee team at the games. “We still have some time left before a decision is made,” added Hidalgo.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who last month allowed Russian athletes to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris under a neutral flag, changed her mind and declared that as long as the war in Ukraine continues, she does not want Russians at the Olympics next year.https://t .co/XQcSTAmjh4 pic.twitter.com/K2GHxvEWQt
— The Last Scout™ (@Posledniskaut) February 8, 2023
Also in the Czech Republic, after a week of hesitation, voices protesting against the effort to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to seek participation in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are growing stronger. The Czech Union of Sport and the National Sports Agency appeal to the ČOV to unequivocally oppose the IOC’s recommendation to examine the start conditions of individuals from these countries in neutral colors.
The Czech Olympic Committee has so far rejected any boycott of the Olympics in Paris, and finally spoke out in favor of maintaining the current sanctions, where in the vast majority of sports Russians and Belarusians are banned from international competitions due to aggression in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the IOC is now looking for a way so that selected athletes from these countries can get to the Olympics from the Asian qualifiers, where they would start without national symbols and on the condition that they define themselves against the war.
The head of NSA Ondřej Šebek will participate on behalf of the Czechia in the online summit of European sports ministers on Friday. “Current Russia has no place at the Olympics. I don’t understand what has changed, that the IOC suddenly wants to take it back,” he expressed a clear position. “It is appropriate to show determination that such unprecedentedly aggressive behavior towards another state does not belong in a civilized society,” the CUS Council said in its statement.
“After our own painful experience with the Russian occupation, it is impossible for us to allow any indication of the participation of this country’s athletes in the sphere of Olympism, which emphasizes respect and reverence for the opponent,” said the head of the CUS, Miroslav Jansta. “Representatives of the Russian regime do not share Olympic ideas when they barbarically kill Ukrainian inhabitants. Moreover, we know very well how false propaganda would immediately take advantage of the start in Olympic Paris,” stated the opinion of the CUS Council.