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Ukrainian IOC Member Opposes Russian Athletes in Paris 2024

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from Ukraine, Valeriy Borzov, has rejected the idea of Russian athletes competing in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Borzov, a former sprinter and Olympic champion, said that Russian athletes supported the war and he was not happy with their participation.

Russia’s Olympic Ban

Russia has been banned from the Olympic Games since 2022, following its invasion of Ukraine and its state-sponsored doping scandal. The IOC imposed sanctions on Russia for violating the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code. Russia was also ordered to pay $15 million in costs and to cooperate with investigations into its doping scheme.

However, some Russian athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, after proving that they were not involved in the doping program or the war. The neutral athletes had to abide by certain conditions, such as not displaying any national symbols or playing the national anthem.

IOC’s Pathway for Russian Athletes

In March 2023, the IOC announced that it would explore a pathway for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The IOC said that it would work with the international federations to exclude athletes from the banned countries who had violated the Olympic Charter or the World Anti-Doping Code. The IOC also said that it would respect the decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and other judicial bodies on individual cases.

Ukrainian IOC Member Opposes Russian Athletes in Paris 2024

The IOC’s decision was met with criticism from some countries, especially Ukraine, which has been at war with Russia since 2022. Ukraine’s sports minister Vadym Guttsait accused the IOC of “double standards” and threatened to boycott the 2024 Games if a full ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes was not upheld. Guttsait also said that Ukraine would not recognize any medals won by neutral athletes from Russia or Belarus.

Borzov’s Statement

On October 16, 2023, Borzov, who is also the president of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, spoke out against the IOC’s suggestion of allowing Russian athletes to compete in Paris. Borzov said that he was “shocked” by the IOC’s proposal and that he did not agree with it.

Borzov said that he had witnessed the atrocities committed by Russia in his country and that he knew how many people had died or suffered because of the war. He said that Russian athletes had supported the war and that they had no place in the Olympic movement.

Borzov also said that he had spoken to other IOC members and that many of them shared his views. He said that he hoped that the IOC would reconsider its decision and that it would respect the principles of fair play and human rights.

Borzov added that he was proud of his Olympic achievements and that he wanted to see Ukraine succeed in Paris. He said that he would support Ukrainian athletes who would compete with dignity and honor.

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