Shevchenko urges IOC not to allow Russia and Belarus to participate in international competitions
Former coach of the Ukrainian national football team Andriy Shevchenko has appealed to the IOC and called for the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions
Espreso TV reported on Shevchenko’s appeal citing his Facebook page.
“There is no politics in sport. But this war is more than just politics. Sports competitions of a high level, like the Olympics, are opportunities to share a message to all people on Earth at once. If athletes from Russia or Belarus enter the arena, with or without flags, it reflects this statement from the Olympics Committee to the whole world — the war is over, you can forgive everyone and forget everything. But the war is not over. Every day war destroys our cities, ruins the childhood of our kids and threatens our existence. The world must remember this. The world must know that we continue to fight for peace and defend our freedom. I urge the IOC not to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete until the war in Ukraine is over, and to strongly condemn Russian aggression,” he wrote.
On January 27, IOC chief Thomas Bach said he supports the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the 2024 Olympics, despite Ukraine's threats to boycott the Games.
On January 29, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that he had written a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron over the possible admission of Russia to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
On January 30, Advisor to the Head of the President's Office Mykhailo Podolyak said that the IOC, which supports the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the 2024 Olympics, is a promoter of Russia's war against Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that if Russians are allowed to participate in the 2024 Olympics, representatives of the Russian army will be able to compete at the Games in Paris.
Wladimir Klitschko said that the reinstatement of Russian and Belarusian athletes to the Olympic Games is a "betrayal of the Olympic spirit" and a "monumental mistake"
On February 1, the International Olympic Committee announced that it would maintain the sanctions against Russian and Belarusian athletes that were approved in December 2022.