The British government will protest Russian athletes being allowed at the Paris Olympics in 2024 as neutrals.
This action comes after Olympic chiefs rejected pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zilenskyy to completely ban Russian athletes from the Paris games.
Wednesday’s International Olympic Committee opened the door to athletes from Russia and Belarus competing in Paris as neutrals if they “have not acted against peace mission of IOC by actively supporting war in Ukraine.”
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Michelle Donelan, Culture Secretary, said that “this position from IOC is a world apart from the reality being felt by Ukrainian people – and IOC president Bach’s own words less then a year ago in which he strongly condemned Russia’s breaking of the Olympic truce. He urged it to give peace a chance.”
While the IOC still believes that sports events should not take place in Russia, it is less strict about athletes competing internationally and welcomes any offer to them to participate in events in Asia.
Ms. Donelan stated that she would strongly condemn any action that allows President Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine to be legitimized – something the IOC had previously supported.
“We have been unambiguous on this throughout. We will now work urgently with like-minded countries in order to continue our solidarity on this matter.”