Russian Athletes At Olympics A “Manifestation Of Violence”, Says Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has called for a boycott of the 2024 Paris Olympics over the possible participation of Russian athletes, on Friday said their presence would be an “expression of violence” “.
“The mere presence of representatives of the terrorist state is a manifestation of violence and lawlessness,” Zelensky said during an online summit of sports ministers chaired from London.
“And it can’t be covered up with some pretended neutrality or a white flag,” Zelensky said.
Last month, the International Olympic Committee said it was exploring a “roadmap” to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Paris Olympics, under a neutral flag.
Ukraine reacted furiously, threatening to withdraw from the Olympics and Zelensky argued that Russian athletes “have no place” in Paris.
“If the Olympic sports are murder and rocket attack, then you know which national team will take first place,” he added.
Zelensky argued that not many Russian athletes spoke out against the war.
“There is almost no such condemnation,” he said. “Only some isolated voices are rapidly disappearing.
“If Russian athletes are allowed to participate in any Olympic competitions or Games, it is only a matter of time before the state terrorizes them to compete under war propaganda,” Zelensky added.
“Russia is now a country that dyes everything with blood – even the white flag.”
Zelensky said at least 228 Ukrainian athletes and coaches were killed during the Russian invasion.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Ukraine’s threat to boycott went against the “principles” of the Olympic movement.
In a letter to the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine published on Thursday, Bach added that Ukraine’s efforts to “pressure” other countries to boycott the 2024 Paris Olympics were “extremely what a pity”.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)
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