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IOC seeks pathway to let Russians compete at Paris Olympics

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, attend a news conference with European Council President Charles Michel after their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, attend a news conference with European Council President Charles Michel after their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.

GENEVA (AP) — The IOC made clear Wednesday it needs Russians to compete on the 2024 Paris Olympics as impartial athletes, in defiance of Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s name to exclude them totally.

Citing a “unifying mission” throughout a time of warfare, the Worldwide Olympic Committee mentioned no athlete ought to face discrimination based mostly solely on the passport they held.

You are reading: IOC seeks pathway to let Russians compete at Paris Olympics

“A pathway for athletes’ participation in competitors below strict circumstances ought to due to this fact be additional explored,” the IOC mentioned in an announcement printed after an government board assembly. IOC president Thomas Bach didn’t maintain his typical information convention after the assembly.

Russia was circuitously condemned within the assertion although athletes who’ve been “actively supporting the warfare in Ukraine” face being excluded from the Paris Olympics that open in 18 months’ time, the IOC mentioned.

The IOC cited the instance of Yugoslavians competing on the 1992 Barcelona Video games — as “unbiased athletes” whereas the nation was below United Nations sanctions throughout a civil warfare.

The willingness of Olympic leaders to contain Russia and its navy ally Bealrus is prone to be met with dismay and anger in Kyiv.

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Zelenskyy addressed the difficulty Tuesday after talking with French president Emmanuel Macron, who helped marketing campaign for the Paris Olympics when it was a bid candidate in 2017.

“I notably emphasised that athletes from Russia shouldn’t have any place on the Olympic Video games in Paris,” Zelenskyy wrote on his Telegram account of his talks with Macron.

The IOC board met to formalize a place after rounds of convention calls final week with world teams of Olympic officers, sports activities governing our bodies, IOC members and athlete representatives.

Regardless of some pushback in these calls, together with from the Ukrainian Olympic physique, the IOC claimed Wednesday its acknowledged goals had been backed by a “overwhelming majority” of those that took half.

Russians could be classed as “impartial athletes” and “on no account symbolize their state or another group of their nation,” the IOC mentioned. Russian athletes haven’t competed below their nation’s title at any Olympics because the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Video games due to the fallout from a chronic doping saga.

Tennis has been the best profile instance up to now 11 months of Russians persevering with to compete of their sport with out symbols of nationwide identification similar to flags and anthems.

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One level raised in Ukraine as a delicate subject is that some Russian athletes are funded and supported by the navy and have been awarded ranks.

The Olympic assertion prompt duty would lie with particular person sports activities governing our bodies to make sure that any Russian athlete supporting the warfare is faraway from competitors, suspended and reported to the IOC for additional motion.

The IOC additionally referred to as on sports activities our bodies to strengthen “full and unwavering dedication to solidarity with the Ukrainian athletes” making ready for the Paris Olympics.

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Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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