Paris Olympics 2024: UK amongst greater than 30 international locations to help ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes

Lucy Frazer
New tradition secretary Lucy Frazer chaired the summit earlier this month

The UK is amongst greater than 30 international locations which have pledged help to an ongoing ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in worldwide sporting occasions amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It follows a summit involving all of the nations earlier this month.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee is “exploring a pathway” for Russians and Belarusians to compete as neutrals.

UK tradition secretary Lucy Frazer stated the IOC’s plans have been “not credible”.

Representatives from international locations together with France, Germany, Poland, the USA and Canada attended the ten February summit, which was chaired by Frazer.

Ukraine, which was not a part of the summit, has threatened to boycott the 2024 Paris Olympics if the IOC permits Russian athletes to compete.

In a press release, Frazer stated: “This coalition of countries has supported Ukraine on a number of fronts and we’ll proceed to take action.

“Right now we’re setting out our critical considerations with the Worldwide Olympic Committee’s plans which might see a route again into elite athletics for Russia and Belarus.

“Any plans to permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in Paris will not be credible. With the prospect of tanks from the UK, United States and European companions arriving in Ukraine over the approaching weeks, and President Zelensky expressing critical considerations {that a} spring offensive by Russia is imminent, we urge the IOC to rethink its place.”

The IOC known as on federations to exclude athletes from Russia and Belarus following the invasion of Ukraine and banned the nations from the Winter Paralympics in March 2022 – although athletes have been allowed to compete beneath a impartial flag.

Some sporting federations have ignored the IOC advice and allowed particular person athletes to compete as neutrals, however others have complied.

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka gained the Australian Open in January competing as a impartial, and the Garden Tennis Affiliation was fined £1.4m by the ATP and WTA for banning Russian and Belarusian gamers from final summer time’s grass-court occasions, together with Wimbledon.

IOC president Thomas Bach stated in December the organisation confronted a “huge dilemma” in guaranteeing athletes don’t undergo on account of sporting sanctions.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky stated permitting Russia to compete in Paris would quantity to displaying that “terror is one way or the other acceptable”.

Monday’s collective assertion stated “there is no such thing as a purpose” for the IOC to reverse its determination final 12 months to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competitors.

The international locations expressed “critical considerations about how possible it’s for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete on a impartial foundation given they’re immediately funded and supported by their states” and stated there are “clear considerations over the robust hyperlinks and affiliations between Russian athletes and the Russian navy”.

The assertion urged the IOC to rethink its proposal and stated the one approach athletes from Russia and Belarus ought to return to the worldwide sports activities group was by their international locations “ending the warfare they began”.

France – hosts of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Video games, 2021 hosts Japan, 2026 Winter Olympics hosts Italy and the USA, which can host the 2028 Summer season Olympics, are all among the many international locations concerned.

Australia weren’t a signatory however a spokesman for the Australian Sports activities Ministry advised Reuters it was an administrative error and the federal government is aligned with banning the athletes.

In response, the IOC stated in a press release: “The Worldwide Olympic Committee takes word of the assertion by ministerial and senior representatives from ‘a collective group of countries’.

“The IOC appreciates the constructive questions with regard to the definition of the neutrality of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport, whereas noting that the specific human rights considerations expressed by two particular rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council haven’t been addressed within the assertion.”

International locations which signed the assertion

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Eire
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

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