March 24, 2023

Olympics 2024: Latvia could join Ukraine in boycott of Paris Games

Russia team arriving at Tokyo 2020
The IOC is working on programs to permit Russian and Belarussian athletes to compete at the 2024 Games less than a neutral flag

Latvia could sign up for Ukraine in boycotting the 2024 Paris Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to contend.

Ukraine’s sports activities minister previously mentioned athletes from Russia and Belarus ought to not be in intercontinental competitions when the war carries on.

Latvia’s Overseas Minister agreed, stating it would be “unacceptable” for the two international locations to take part.

Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina has also supported banning athletes.

Latvia, which borders Russia, has been a robust supporter of Ukraine.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee claimed past Wednesday it would “examine a pathway” for athletes from the two nations to take portion as neutrals.

But the British isles Federal government has condemned the prepare as a “environment away from the actuality of war” though Latvia’s Countrywide Olympic Committee explained the existence of the athletes would be an “encouragement for even further escalation of warfare, and normalisation of war crimes and brutal violence”.

The NOC included: “For as extensive as there is an ongoing war in Ukraine, participation of the Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Olympic Video games beneath any flag is unacceptable.”

The Baltic ministers of sport – from Estonia and Lithuania, as properly as Latvia – will meet on Thursday to talk about a joint attractiveness to the IOC to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from all intercontinental level of competition.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has explained Russian athletes ought to have “no place” at the Paris Games.

The IOC formerly asked sporting federations to exclude competitors from the countries adhering to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final calendar year.

On the other hand, the IOC’s assertion very last 7 days claimed “no athlete should really be prevented from competing just simply because of their passport”.

Last thirty day period, IOC president Thomas Bach spoke of not wishing to punish individual athletes for the actions of their governments and Russia has said a marketing campaign to exclude it from worldwide activity will are unsuccessful.

‘Heinous acts’ will have to have ‘consequences’

Former earth variety three Svitolina, who won bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, urged nations around the world to be united in sanctions for Russia and Belarus.

“The Olympics are the biggest desire and ultimate privilege for athletes. They are the largest system for inclusion and diversity in sports, capturing the attention of the earth,” Svitolina mentioned in statement on Twitterexterior-link.

“With this in thoughts we will have to stick to banning Russian and Belarusian athletes… that we are united in the sanctions imposed from Russia and Belarus and that there are outcomes for the heinous functions of their governments,” she extra.

“Their life are unable to go on as normal and the planet, nor the Russian and Belarusian people today, can not be ignorant of the atrocities they are committing in Ukraine.”

Svitolina achieved the semi-finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019 and has not played given that giving beginning to her initially child very last 12 months.