Paris 2024: Ukraine’s boycott of qualifying occasions ‘raises critical questions’, says the IOC

Russia flag at Olympics Games
The Worldwide Olympic Committee has advisable that Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete however solely underneath a impartial flag

Ukraine’s choice to boycott Paris 2024 Olympics qualifying occasions if Russians are participating “raises critical questions”, says the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC has advisable that Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete underneath a impartial flag.

Nevertheless it has but to decide on the Olympic Video games in Paris in 2024.

“If carried out, such a choice would harm solely the Ukrainian athlete neighborhood,” stated the IOC in response to Ukraine’s stance.

“It could by no means influence the conflict that the world desires to cease, and that the IOC has so vehemently condemned.

“This raises critical questions in regards to the autonomy of Ukrainian sport. The IOC has at all times maintained that it’s not as much as governments to determine which athletes can take part wherein worldwide competitions.”

The IOC added that the choice goes towards “the place of quite a few Ukrainian athletes and different members of the Ukrainian Olympic neighborhood”.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky stated in January that Russian athletes ought to have “no place” on the Paris Video games.

And firstly of April, minister Nemchinov indicated that any Ukrainian sporting physique permitting athletes to compete in qualifying occasions towards Russians may lose its nationwide standing.

However the IOC says that any athlete selecting to compete “may rely on the direct help of the Olympic Motion’s Solidarity Fund”.

A press release from the Affiliation of Nationwide Olympic Committees (ANOC) stated it “expressed alarm” on the boycott.

“Any authorities requires boycotts signify a direct interference within the autonomy of sport,” it stated.

“These will solely contribute to the isolation of Nationwide Olympic Committees from the worldwide sporting neighborhood and can instantly have an effect on the goals and aspirations of athletes.”

World Aquatics helps IOC’s stance

World Aquatics says it has arrange a taskforce to discover the potential for Russian and Belarusian athletes competing underneath a impartial flag at its worldwide occasions.

It added its help for the IOC’s suggestion of the identical stance.

However it’s in distinction to World Athletics’ ruling which says Russian athletes stay banned “for the foreseeable future”.

“The taskforce, made up of athletes and representatives from throughout the aquatics neighborhood, will start work instantly on growing a suggestion to the World Aquatics Bureau,” World Aquatics stated.

In 2022, World Aquatics moved the short-course world swimming championships from Kazan, Russia, to Melbourne.

Kazan has been changed by Singapore for the 2025 World Aquatics Championships.

The taskforce will report its findings to the World Aquatics Bureau in July, which makes it unlikely that any Russian or Belarusian athletes will compete within the World Swimming Championships which occur in Fukuoka, Japan, between 14-30 July.

Equestrian maintains Russia and Belarus ban

The Worldwide Equestrian Federation (FEI) introduced on Wednesday {that a} ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, horses and officers from taking part in its occasions will stay in place till additional discover.

The FEI launched the measure in March 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

FEI president Ingmar de Vos stated the board mentioned the IOC’s proposal for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutrals however agreed that “at this stage neutrality can’t be outlined and evaluated in a sufficiently passable method”.

De Vos added that no occasions organised in Russia and Belarus will probably be entered within the FEI calendar for 2023.