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Ukraine could boycott Olympics if Russians allowed back, says sports minister

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Reuters

 — 

Ukraine would not rule out boycotting the Olympic Video games if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete in the Paris 2024 Video games, its sports minister claimed.

Designs by the Intercontinental Olympic Committee (IOC) to look at ways for individuals athletes to return to intercontinental competition would be opposed, the minister, Vadim Guttsait, mentioned on social media late on Thursday.

“Our position is unchanged: as lengthy as there is a war in Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian athletes should not be in global competitions,” Guttsait wrote on his Fb webpage.

“Work is currently underway on further more probable ways and initial steps to go on sanctions and prevent Russians and Belarusians from worldwide competitions,” he explained.

“If we are not listened to, I do not rule out the probability that we will boycott and refuse participation in the Olympics.”

He later wrote that talks with national sporting activities federations would get started on a doable boycott of the Paris Olympics “in situation of allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to intercontinental athletics arenas.”

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, numerous athletics companies have moved activities and suspended Russian groups or athletes, although sponsors have finished contracts in protests in opposition to the war.

Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned in some sports activities when they are authorized to compete under a neutral flag in others.

The IOC, eager to see them back in worldwide competitions, claimed on Wednesday the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) experienced offered Russian and Belarusian athletes the chance to compete in Asia, giving them a qualification pathway for the Paris Olympics.

In a get in touch with with IOC President Thomas Bach in December, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy opposed the strategy of Russian athletes taking section beneath any variety of neutral banner in the 2024 Summertime Game titles.

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