Olympics: Ukraine accuses IOC of ‘double requirements’ over Russia

Ukraine sports minister Vadym Guttsait
Ukraine sports activities minister Vadym Guttsait is a former Olympic fencer who received a gold medal on the 1992 Video games in Barcelona

The Worldwide Olympic Committee has been accused of “double requirements” by Ukraine’s sports activities minister for suggesting Russian and Belarusian athletes may compete at Paris 2024.

Ukraine stays strongly against the IOC “exploring a pathway” for athletes from the banned nations to participate.

“What’s modified? Nothing has modified. At first the IOC banned them, and now they’re making an attempt to permit them to compete,” stated Vadym Guttsait.

“There are specific double requirements.”

The subject of sanctions in opposition to Russian and Belarusian athletes might be excessive on the agenda when the IOC’s government board meets on Tuesday in Switzerland.

Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final 12 months, the IOC referred to as on sporting federations to ban athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus.

Nevertheless, final month the IOC opened up the potential for athletes from the nations taking part beneath a impartial flag in Paris.

Guttsait stated that for that to occur there should be “critical standards” hooked up to validate the neutrality of any athletes allowed to compete.

“They can not simply say ‘we’re for peace’ and that is it,” stated Guttsait, who can be the top of Ukraine’s Nationwide Olympic Committee.

“If the factors are very weak, then why was Russia suspended final 12 months?

“The scenario has solely deteriorated. Extra Ukrainians are being killed and extra Ukrainian territory is being occupied. There are air-raid alerts day by day and our cities are being bombed and our individuals are being killed.

“We don’t perceive in any respect what was responsible for the IOC to start out dialogue concerning the lifting of the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes.”

Explaining its choice, the IOC stated the Olympics “can not stop wars and conflicts” however the Video games may “encourage us to resolve issues by constructing bridges”.

However Guttsait stated it was unimaginable to separate politics and sport whereas his nation was beneath assault.

“We’ve no life in Ukraine, we have now no situations for regular coaching and preparations for the Olympic Video games,” he added.

“On the identical time, the Russians have all of the situations to practise and compete domestically. They sleep at evening, and we do not.”

The IOC is encouraging sports activities to permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals, nevertheless it stays a call for the person federations.

On Thursday, World Athletics stated it was preserving its ban in place.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe stated the sanction seems to be “the one peaceable solution to disrupt and disable Russia’s present intentions” and stated Russia’s actions over the previous 12 months had “solely hardened” his “resolve” on this situation.

“I want to thank Sebastian Coe, and the whole World Athletics Board for his or her help for Ukraine, understanding and solidarity with us not solely in phrases but additionally in deeds,” stated Guttsait.