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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Putin Asserts IOC Ban on Russian Athletes Reflects Olympic Movement’s Decline

The IOC suggested that Russian and Belarusian athletes compete as neutrals

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RUSSIA: On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the International Olympic Committee of politicising sport as it considers whether Russian athletes would compete in next year’s Games in Paris.

In response to a question regarding the exclusion of Russian athletes from the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, Putin referred to the Olympic movement as “degrading” and vowed to protect the rights of the nations’ sportsmen. In the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, he was giving a speech at a forum.

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Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that Russia will not be allowed to fly a flag at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris due to Russia’s ongoing war crimes and child deportations. In an interview with L’Équipe, Macron stated that the Russian flag has “no place” at the Paris Games.

Macron stated that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decides on Russian athletes’ participation in major athletic events, not the host nation. He said that Russian athletes, “who sometimes have prepared for a lifetime, and can also be the victims” of the Kremlin’s regime, will be considered by the committee when determining their placement.

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The involvement of Russian and Belarusian athletes has sparked a heated debate since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suggested that Russian and Belarusian athletes compete as neutrals (without a national flag or anthem) in international contests, despite the Ukrainian government’s attempts to ban them and its threat to boycott games. 

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In July, Ukraine agreed to allow its athletes to compete against Belarusian and Russian athletes as long as they are under a neutral flag. In February, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo disagreed with the IOC’s recommendations and did not want Russian athletes to compete at the 2024 Olympics.

Also Read: Kim Jong Un to Meet Putin, North Korean Leader’s Armored Train Heads to Russia: Reports


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