Matvis Bidnyi, the Minister of Youth and Sport of Ukraine, has said that the decision of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to allow individual athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in the 2024 Olympics as neutrals is irresponsible, and urged the IOC to finally take off its rose-coloured glasses with respect to the aggressor state.
Source: Ministry of Youth and Sport of Ukraine on Facebook
Quote from Bidnyi: "We strongly condemn the irresponsible decision of the members of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee."
Details: Bidnyi said the IOC’s decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to hide behind fake neutrality is irresponsible.
He reminded the public that IOC President Thomas Bach recently announced that the decision would not be made until March 2024.
"From our side, we have explained to our international partners and the Olympic Committee that Russian athletes hold the same passports as the occupiers who are killing Ukrainians. That means they bear partial responsibility for Ukrainians’ deaths. They won’t manage to hide behind the white flag of neutrality in time of war. Neutrality at a time when the most bloody war since WW2 is ongoing in Europe, with one nation trying to annihilate another, means irresponsibility and tacit appeasement of the murderers," Bidnyi said.
Bidnyi stressed that Russia is the only country which has violated an Olympic truce three times, is trying to conduct alternative Olympics, and is threatening to arrive at the Olympics in tanks.
"What else does Russia have to do, who else does it have to kill, for the International Olympic Committee to finally take off its rose-coloured glasses with respect to the terrorist state?" Bidnyi asked.
He promised that the decision on Ukraine’s participation in the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics will be made after consultations have been held with Ukraine’s sporting community and the country’s top political leadership.
Background: Earlier, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to allow individual athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games as neutrals. Teams will not participate.