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Zelenskyy Calls On Macron To Keep Russian Athletes Out Of Paris 2024


January 25, (THEWILL) – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine has urged French President, Emmanuel Macron, to block Russia’s participation in the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

In a recent telephone call, Zelenskyy emphasised that athletes from Russia should not be allowed to participate in the games. This request comes after Russian and Belarusian athletes have been largely banned from international sports since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2020.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has proposed that both countries’ athletes compete as neutrals at Asian qualifying events for Paris 2024. However, Zelenskyy expressed his disappointment with this proposal during a meeting with IOC President, Thomas Bach, last month.

Sports Minister and National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, President Vadym Guttsait, has also urged the IOC not to lift the ban on Russia and Belarus at Paris 2024. He highlighted that many athletes from Russia are now serving in the country’s armed forces and the impact of attacks on Ukraine.

Despite this, Bach has insisted that the question of the participation of athletes is separate from the question of sanctions for their government. He has also expressed the IOC’s commitment to ensuring a strong team from Ukraine at Paris 2024. The games are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11, with the Paralympics set to follow from August 28 to September 8.