Hidalgo’s vow in Kyiv: No Russians at Paris Olympics

Hidalgo’s vow in Kyiv: No Russians at Paris Olympics
Опубликовано: Thursday, 09 February 2023 13:51

Paris mayor heaps pressure on the International Olympic Committee.


Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she doesn’t want to see Russian athletes at the 2024 Olympics, during a visit to Kyiv on Thursday.

Speaking at the Kyiv city council, Hidalgo told lawmakers that she is against the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in Paris — as long as Vladimir Putin’s forces continue their invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said in a statement on Thursday.

“I want to express to you my conviction and my will: As long as Russian forces continue to bomb you, target your civilian population and your infrastructure, while Russian soldiers occupy your territory, I do not want Russian athletes to compete in sports,” Hidalgo said, according to Klitschko’s statement, quoting her remarks.

“This is my conviction as a mayor, as a political leader, and as a convinced European woman. I have no doubt that the International Olympic Committee will be able to support this position,” she added.

Hidalgo visited the Ukrainian capital amid growing tensions over the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to reintegrate Russian and Belarusian athletes into international competition as neutral competitors. Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Games if the IOC green-lights their return — and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly criticized the IOC, which is the ultimate decision-maker on participation.

French President Emmanuel Macron told journalists in Brussels on Thursday that he discussed the Olympics with Zelenskyy during the Ukrainian leader’s visit to Paris late Wednesday.

“In the summer, we will have a reassessment [of the measures regarding Russian athletes], and we will take a stance depending on circumstances and what is happening on the ground,” Macron said.

Banning athletes on the basis of their passports would be discrimination, the IOC told AP on Wednesday citing advice from an unnamed human rights expert.

“There are no plans for a Russian or Belarusian delegation or the flags of these countries at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024,” the Olympic body said in a statement sent to POLITICO. “The only option that could be considered are individual, neutral athletes like we have seen last year at the French Open in tennis and recently again at the Australian Open in tennis and in other professional sports.”

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