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Ukrainian official says Olympic body 'promotes Russian anti-human policy'

28.01.2023 21:00
An adviser to the Ukrainian president on Saturday slammed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for supporting Russia and for promoting "violence, mass murders, destruction" and "Russian anti-human policy."
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Pixabay LicenseImage by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Mykhailo Podolak tweeted his criticism after the Olympic Council of Asia said on Thursday it could allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in this year's Asian Games, a key qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, news outlets reported.

The IOC announced a day earlier it had secured broad support from athletes' representatives, sports federations, and national Olympic committees for a proposal to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to competition under "strict conditions," according to reports.

'Ambassadors of death'

"The IOC proposes to the world promotion of violence, mass murders, destruction," Podolak wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

"That's why it insists Russian athletes should participate in contests as real 'ambassadors of death,'" he added.

"Sport doesn't exist outside politics – sport promotes it," Podolak also said. "Thus, the IOC promotes the Russian anti-human policy."

'Any neutral flag of Russian athletes is stained with blood': Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address late on Friday that "tyrannies try to use sports for their ideological interests."

He added that "there is no such thing as neutrality when a war like this is going on."

"It is obvious that any neutral flag of Russian athletes is stained with blood," he argued.

'Olympic principles and war are fundamentally opposed'

Zelensky said Ukraine was "starting a marathon of honesty, which will be aimed at clearing the leadership of international Olympic structures of hypocrisy and any attempts to bring representatives of the terrorist state into world sports."

He added: "One cannot but be disappointed by the statements of the current President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach. I spoke with him several times. And I never heard how he is going to protect sports from war propaganda if he returns Russian athletes to international competitions."

Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Photo: EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

Zelensky also said in his message that Ukrainian athletes "are forced to defend the lives of their loved ones and the freedom of our people from Russian aggression."

"Russian strikes took the lives of hundreds of Ukrainian men and women who could have brought their talents to world sports," Zelensky said.

"Russia must stop aggression and terror, and only after that it will be possible to talk about Russian participation in the context of the Olympic movement," he added.

"Olympic principles and war are fundamentally opposed to each other," he declared.

Russia, Belarus should be banned from 2024 Olympics: Polish sports minister

Poland's Sports Minister Kamil Bortniczuk said on Friday that Russia and its ally Belarus should not be allowed to take part in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

He added that if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete in next year's Olympics, Poland could build an international coalition to boycott the event.

Kamil Bortniczuk w Programie 3 Polskiego Radia komentował wybór Fernando Santosa na trenera reprezentacji Kamil Bortniczuk. Photo: Polish Radio

Saturday is day 339 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAP, dw.com