Paris 2024 Olympics: IOC calls on Ukraine to cease ‘depriving’ athletes of qualification alternatives

Thomas Bach speaking at a meeting
Thomas Bach beforehand described criticism by European governments over the return of Russian athletes as “deplorable”

Ukraine ought to cease “depriving” its athletes of the possibility to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, says Worldwide Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

That call got here after the IOC beneficial Russian and Belarusian athletes be allowed to compete underneath a impartial flag.

“The Ukrainian athletes are being sanctioned by their very own authorities for the struggle that has been began by the Russian and Belarusian governments,” mentioned Bach.

“It’s exhausting to grasp why the Ukrainian authorities is depriving their very own athletes from the possibility to qualify for Paris 2024 and to make the Ukrainian folks proud.

“It’s exhausting to grasp why Ukrainian athletes are allowed to compete in tennis however not in desk tennis, it is exhausting to grasp why they’re allowed to compete in biking however not in swimming.

“What your entire Olympic neighborhood and actually your entire world is eager for is Ukrainian athletes shining brightly in worldwide competitions.”

Ukraine has beforehand threatened to boycott the 2024 Olympics if the IOC permits Russian athletes to compete.

Participation in occasions that includes Russians and Belarusians might see Ukrainian federations sanctioned and lose “nationwide standing”.

Some sports activities already enable opponents from Russia and Belarus to compete as neutrals – for instance, tennis gamers from the 2 nations compete on the ATP and WTA Excursions underneath impartial flags.

Bach added: “All of us need [Ukrainian athletes] to have the chance to qualify for the Olympic Video games in Paris 2024.

“This implies collaborating now within the qualification occasions to allow them to make the Ukrainian folks proud, displaying the resilience of the Ukrainian folks and of the Ukrainian Olympic neighborhood.”

No determination has but been taken on whether or not Russian and Belarusian athletes will likely be allowed to compete in subsequent yr’s Olympics.

The UK is amongst 36 nations to have pledged help for an ongoing ban.