Ukraine assured that it is willing to boycott the next Olympic Games if, finally, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allows Russia and Belarus to participate in Paris 2024.
“Ukraine is determined,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said and announced on Telegram: “A powerful international coalition for fair sports has been formed, which includes 35 states. Together, we are ready to boycott the Paris Olympic Games if the Russian Federation and Belarus are allowed to participate in the competition.”
“We hope that the IOC will make the right decision and eliminate the aggressor from the Olympic Games,” wrote Shmyhal, who was not the only one who in the last few hours referred to Ukraine’s participation or not in Paris 2024.
Vadym Gutzeit, president of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine and sports minister, said in an interview with AFP that “a final decision will be taken when all the relevant factors are considered” and said: “Other countries that have suffered from Russian imperialism at different stages of their history will join this boycott.”
“Our athletes must be at the Olympic Games. Our flag will be at the Opening Ceremony, at the competitions, our athletes will represent our state so that everyone in the world can see that Ukraine is, was and will be,” said Gutzeit, although this statement is far from confirming the presence in Paris.
“The National Olympic Committee of Ukraine is continuing consultations with the subjects of the Olympic movement regarding the participation of the Ukrainian national team in the Olympic Games, if representatives of the aggressor countries are allowed to participate. We are working to consider all possible aspects of this unprecedented situation,” explained the Sports Minister.
Beyond recommending that they be able to participate in the different qualifying tournaments for Paris 2024 individually and under a strict condition of neutrality, the International Olympic Committee has not yet made a decision as to whether athletes from Russia and Belarus will be able to attend the next Games.
Faced with this situation, seeing that different Federations began to include them in their competitions, Ukraine had to change its position regarding not allowing its athletes to face Russians and Belarusians by jeopardizing their own qualification for the Olympic Games.