Representative use of pictures© AFP
Russia’s sports minister said on Saturday that Ukraine’s call to ban Russian athletes from the 2024 Paris Olympics, backed by several countries, was “unacceptable”. “Trying to impose conditions on athletes’ participation in international competitions is absolutely unacceptable,” Russia’s state-run news agency quoted Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin as saying. “We see a blatant desire to undermine the unity of international sport and the international Olympic Movement.”
Ukraine reacted sharply to the IOC’s announcement last month that it was exploring a “pathway” to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in Paris under neutral flags.
IOC President Thomas Bach called Ukraine’s call for a boycott of the Games a violation of “the principles to which we stand”.
On Friday, President Zelensky reiterated his appeal, saying that “the very existence of representatives of a terrorist state is a manifestation of violence and lawlessness.”
“It is better to organize sport within the country and do everything to make sport an ambassador of peace and a bridge between countries,” Maticin replied on Saturday.
Nordic and some Eastern European countries have said they will join the boycott.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)
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