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Ukraine condemns IOC's approval for Russian, Belarusian participation in 2024 Olympics

Ukraine condemns IOC's approval for Russian, Belarusian participation in 2024 Olympics Matvii Bidnyi, Acting Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

The decision of the International Olympic Committee's Executive Committee to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete at the 2024 Olympics in a neutral status is irresponsible, according to a statement by the Acting Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, Matvii Bidnyi.

"Recently, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, announced that the IOC would only make the relevant decision in March next year," the statement read.

Bidnyi stated that Ukraine has explained to international partners and the Olympic Committee that Russian athletes hold the same passports as the occupiers who are killing Ukrainians. This implies that they share some responsibility for the deaths of Ukrainians.

"It is impossible to hide behind the white flag of neutrality during a war. Neutrality during a time when Europe is witnessing its bloodiest conflict since World War II, with one nation attempting to destroy another, signifies irresponsibility and silent approval of the killers," added the Acting Minister.

Ukraine condemned the IOC decision

Bidnyi emphasized that the only state to have violated the Olympic ceasefire three times is Russia. Furthermore, Russia attempts to organize an alternative to the Olympics and threatens to arrive at the sporting event in tanks.

"What else does Russia need to do—whom else does Russia need to kill—for the International Olympic Committee to finally remove its rose-colored glasses regarding this terrorist country?" the statement read.

Bidnyi also mentioned that Ukraine would decide on the country's participation in the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games after consulting with the Ukrainian sports community and the country's higher political leadership.

Previously, today, the International Olympic Committee allowed athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in the 2024 Olympics under a neutral status.

Ukraine is considering boycotting the Olympics if Russia and Belarus are allowed to participate. As Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal previously mentioned, Ukraine, along with 34 other states, formed a coalition prepared to boycott if the IOC permits athletes from the terrorist country and its ally to compete.