Paris 2024: Ukraine claims some Olympic athletes have shown support for ‘Russian aggression’

The Ukraine Olympic Committee claims some athletes should not be allowed to compete at the Paris Games because of their support for “Russian aggression”.

Russian and Belarusian individuals who qualify for the 2024 Olympics are permitted to take part as neutrals.

But they must compete without flags, emblems or anthems of their country.

In a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the UOC said several Russian athletes “support or justify aggression against Ukraine”.

The UOC provided what it believes is evidence of several athletes attending rallies, taking part in competitions designed to support Russia and social media posts expressing support for the war in Ukraine.

In order to compete in Paris the neutral athletes must meet certain conditions, which includes not showing support for the war.

However, in a letter to IOC president Thomas Bach from UOC president Vadym Guttsait, the Ukrainian committee says it is “concerned” the number of athletes appearing to be in breach of this condition has “increased significantly” since Olympic qualification began last year.

The UOC says some of these athletes have already qualified for this summer’s Games and asks the IOC to pay “special attention” to several athletes’ “direct or indirect” support for the war.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus were banned following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 but the IOC says letting individuals take part in Paris is about “respecting human rights”.

The Olympics begin on 26 July and end on 11 August.

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