Ukraine accuses the International Olympic Committee of being a ‘promoter of war, murder and destruction’ after a sports body says it is considering ways for Russian athletes to compete
- youUkrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak accused the IOC of offering Russia a ‘platform to promote genocide’ and ‘encouraging their new killings’
- The IOC said it was looking for a ‘way’ for Russians to participate in the Paris Games
Ukraine today accused the International Olympic Committee of being a ‘promoter of war, murder and destruction’ after the sports body said it was considering ways for Russian athletes to compete in Paris Games in 2024.
Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak accused the IOC of offering Russia a “platform to promote genocide” and “encouraging their new killings”.
His scathing comments came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said allowing Russia to participate in the 2024 Paris Games was amounts to showing that “terror is somehow acceptable”.
Podolyak tweeted today: “The IOC is an instigator of war, murder and destruction.
Pictured: The Olympic rings to celebrate the IOC’s official announcement that Paris has won the 2024 Olympic bid are seen in front of the Eiffel Tower at Place du Trocadero in Paris, France,
“The IOC happily watches Russia destroy Ukraine, then offers Russia a platform to promote genocide and encourage its further killings.”
“Obviously, Russian money that buys Olympic hypocrisy doesn’t smell of Ukrainian blood. Does it, Mr. Bach? Podolyak added, referring to IOC President Thomas Bach.
The IOC has faced a backlash from Ukraine after saying last week it was considering a “pathway” for Russians to participate, including as neutral athletes.
Russia and its ally Belarus have been sidelined from most Olympic sports since Russian forces invaded Ukraine last February.
Zelensky said on Sunday that allowing Russia to participate in the 2024 Games would show that “terror is somehow acceptable”.
Zelensky said on Sunday that allowing Russia to participate in the 2024 Games would show that “terror is somehow acceptable”. Pictured: Zelensky with IOC President Thomas Bach in Kyiv on July 3, 2022
“Attempts by the International Olympic Committee to bring Russian athletes back to the Olympics are attempts to tell the world that terror is somehow okay,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address on Sunday.
“As if it’s possible to turn a blind eye to what Russia is doing in Kherson, Kharkiv, Bakhmut and Avdiivka,” Zelensky said, referring to cities under constant Russian attack.
Russia, he said, must not be allowed to “use (the Games) or any other sporting event as propaganda for its aggression or state chauvinism”.
Zelensky added that he sent a letter to President Emmanuel Macron about the matter following a phone call with the French leader last week.
“We must be sure that Russia cannot use it (the Olympics) or any other international sporting event to promote aggression or its state chauvinism,” he said.
Ukrainian Sports Minister Vadym Goutzeit has warned that his country could boycott the Summer Olympics next year if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to participate.
Zelensky added that he had sent a letter to President Emmanuel Macron (pictured together in June 2022) about it following a phone call with the French leader last week.
The International Olympic Committee said last week it welcomed a proposal from the Olympic Council of Asia for athletes from Russia and Belarus to have the opportunity to compete in Asia.
Zelensky spoke to Macron last week and has since launched an “honesty marathon” to keep Russian athletes away from the Paris Games.
On Saturday, he said there could be no neutrality in sport at a time when his country’s athletes are fighting and dying in war.
In his final comments, Zelenskiy said the 20th century had seen too many mistakes that led to appalling tragedies.
“And there was a major Olympic mistake,” he said, referring to the organization of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin when the Nazis were in power. “The Olympic movement and terrorist states must absolutely not cross paths.”