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Tue, February 13, 2024

Ukraine’s Olympic Committee asks IOC to investigate Russian and Belarusian athletes who are due to compete as “neutral athletes” at the Paris 2024 Games

Ukraine’s Olympic Committee asks IOC to investigate Russian and Belarusian athletes who are due to compete as “neutral athletes” at the Paris 2024 Games

The Ukraine Olympic Committee claims some neutral athletes should not be allowed to compete at the Paris Games because of their support for "Russian aggression".

The Ukraine Olympic Committee (UOC) claims some athletes should not be allowed to compete at the Paris Games because of their support for "Russian aggression" and sent a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach last week, asking him to investigate the behaviour of Russian and Belarusian athletes ahead of the Games, claiming they had failed to meet the conditions imposed and were "supporting aggression against Ukraine".

Russian and Belarusian individuals who qualify for the 2024 Olympics are permitted to take part as neutrals. This means they must compete without flags, emblems or anthems of their country. In order to compete in Paris the neutral athletes must meet certain conditions, which includes not showing support for the war.

However, in a letter to IOC president Thomas Bach from UOC president Vadym Guttsait, the Ukrainian committee said: “I would like to address you once again on the issue of the potential participation of individual neutral athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports, in particular those competing in wrestling, potential participation in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and their compliance with the IOC's recommended conditions for participation. “

“The first qualifying event was the 2023 World Wrestling Championships. Here, more attention was paid to potential members of the ANI team. Although some pre-registered athletes were not allowed to compete at the World Championships, most of the athletes who we felt did not meet the IOC requirements were allowed to compete."

"As we reported in our last letter, some of you have already qualified for the Olympic Games. We are now approaching the start of the second round of Olympic qualifying . The number of ANI athletes for whom we have concerns regarding their compliance with IOC requirements has increased significantly," it continued. 

"In light of the above, we would like to appeal to the IOC to pay special attention to these issues and to consider the evidence and facts presented by us when making the final decision on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as ANI," the letter concluded.

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