UK Hosts Summit To Address Olympic Ban on Russian Athletes

The United Kingdom will organize a summit on February 10 to address a possible ban on Russian athletes in the next Olympic Games, a possibility that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has left open for sale in recent days, local channel Sky News reported today.

From The IOC

From the IOC they stated this week that they plan the possible concurrence of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions in Asia and during this year -excluding the Paris 2024 Olympic Games- to avoid what would be a discriminatory veto, derived from the Russian invasion of Ukraine .

In the eventual meeting -at the request of London and to which up to thirty countries could attend- the boycott proposed this Friday by the Polish sports authorities, who have shown themselves radically against the participation of Russians and Belarusians in sports competitions.

Although the IOC proposal specifies that athletes from Russia and Belarus would participate under a neutral flag and without displaying national banners, Ukraine considers that it would be inadmissible.

In fact, from kyiv they have come to accuse the sports organization of being a “war promoter”.

For their part, the sports ministers of European countries will meet on February 10 to discuss the situation surrounding the admission of athletes from Russia and Belarus to international competitions, said the Chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine Vadim Gutzeit, reported the Sputnik agency

“The Minister of Poland and the person responsible for Sport in the United Kingdom convene for February 10 a summit of European ministers and the governing bodies that are in charge of Sport in these countries, to discuss the non-admission of Russian athletes. and Belarusians,” Gutzeit told a news conference.

Earlier, Gutzeit had stated that Ukraine does not want to see Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions until the conflict in the country ends with the victory of kyiv, and that if athletes from these countries are admitted to the competitions, Ukraine should boycott them.

On January 25, the IOC executive committee called for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions as neutrals, while suggesting suspending athletes who support Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

In response, the adviser to the office of the Ukrainian president, Mikhail Podoliak, accused this organization, based in Lausanne (Switzerland), of having accepted bribes from Russia and propagandizing violence.

The IOC called these accusations defamatory. In February 2022, the IOC recommended to international sports federations not to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in competitions due to hostilities in Ukraine. Several international federations followed the recommendations, while others allowed athletes to act as athlete neutrals.

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