Mykhaylo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Zelensky, criticized the International Olympic Committee for “promoting conflict” when considering Russian athletes to compete.
“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a promoter of conflict, murder and destruction. The IOC is pleased to watch Russia destroy Ukraine and then provide Russia with a platform to promote genocide, encourage and encourage genocide. They continue to kill. Surely the Russian money used to buy Olympic hypocrisy is not in the blood of Ukrainians?”, Mykhaylo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Twitter on January 30.
The Ukrainian official’s statement came after the IOC announced last week that it was considering allowing Russian athletes to participate in the Olympics, including the option of them competing as neutrals.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on January 29 that if Russian athletes were allowed to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympics, even as a neutral, it would show that “terrorism can be considered acceptable”.
“It’s as if turning a blind eye to what Russia is doing to Kherson, Kharkov, Bakhmut and Avdiivka,” Zelensky said, referring to the cities hit hardest.
The Ukrainian president added that he had sent a letter to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the matter to ensure Russia could not use the Paris 2024 Olympics or any other international sporting event to promote hostilities.
Ukraine’s Sports Minister Vadym Goutzeit warned on January 26 that the country could boycott the Paris Olympics next year if athletes from Russia and Belarus are allowed to participate.
In 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency banned Russia from all international sports competitions for four years for allegedly violating doping regulations. During the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Russian athletes competed as neutrals, under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
Ngoc Anh (Theo AFP)