Zantaraya: Boycott of the Olympics is a last resort. We are fighting to ensure that Russians and Belarusians are not in competitions while the war is going on

Games in Paris should be held under the sign of solidarity with Ukraine

Ex-world champion in judo, and now a deputy of the Kyiv City Council and head of the commission of athletes of the NOC of Ukraine George Zantaraya spoke about a possible boycott of the 2024 Olympics from Ukraine, in case of admission to competitions of Russian and Belarusian athletes.

“A boycott is a last resort. Today we are fighting to prevent Russians and Belarusians from competing while the war is going on. It is often said that sport is about peace, unity. Where then are the calls to this world? Anti-murder speeches? No, complete silence. Or even more – the approval of what is happening. Naturally, this is unacceptable. The Paris Olympics should be held under the sign of solidarity with Ukraine,” Zantaraya said.

“Belarusians who condemned the Lukashenka regime in 2020 suffered because of their position and were forced to leave. The guys support Ukraine so far, which is very nice. By the way, it is not clear to me what will happen to them, what country they will represent if all the other Belarusians and Russians are returned to the international arena in a neutral status. What kind of justice, equality are we talking about at all?

“Why on earth do you think that those athletes who are silent may not agree with the war? If they are really against, then you need to speak out. In the meantime, rockets are flying from the territory of Belarus to Ukrainian homes. No wonder the entire civilized world imposes sanctions. Belarusians and Russians are not invited anywhere, they are not present at global events.”

Earlier, the NOC of Ukraine voted for a possible boycott of the 2024 Olympics if athletes from Russia and Belarus are admitted to the Games. Also, the Verkhovna Rada appealed to the parliaments of the countries of the world with a request to prohibit the participation of representatives of the aggressor countries in international competitions.

A coalition of 35 countries, including the US, France, Poland, Lithuania, Japan and the UK, also opposed the admission of athletes from Russia and Belarus to the Olympic Games.

The IOC is ready to consider the possibility of admitting athletes from Russia and Belarus to international competitions. In this case, everyone who wishes will be required to act in a neutral status. Also, athletes should not support the war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and pass a mandatory doping test.

The IOC believes that a complete ban on the performance of Russian and Belarusian athletes is discrimination and is contrary to the Olympic Charter. The organizers of the 2024 Olympics in Paris said they would adhere to the decision of the IOC to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete under a neutral flag.

Source: Sportarena

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