The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected criticism from the Ukrainian authorities, who attacked the organization with accusations because of the position on the admission of Russian athletes to the 2024 Olympics. The IOC statement was published on January 31 on their Twitter account.
Earlier, Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, said that the committee was bribed by the Russians and acts as a “propagandist” of the conflict.
“The IOC rejects this and other slanderous statements in the strongest possible terms. They cannot serve as a basis for any constructive discussion. Therefore, the IOC will no longer comment on them, ”the message says.
The day before, the IOC said that it considers the concept of Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under a neutral flag successful. The committee also recalled that the Russians continue to compete in road cycling and North American professional leagues.
On January 27, IOC President Thomas Bach said that athletes from Russia and Belarus could participate in the 2024 Summer Olympics under a neutral flag. He stressed that the boycott of Ukraine, which was threatened by the Minister of Youth and Sports Vadym Gutzeit, does not correspond to the committee’s mission.
After these statements, Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky criticized the IOC.
At the same time, also earlier, on January 26, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for the Russians to be allowed to the Olympic Games in 2024, but under a neutral flag. According to her, athletes should not be deprived of competition. Hidalgo stressed that this opinion is now shared by most of the sports community.
On February 28, 2022, the IOC recommended that international sports federations prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in international competitions due to the situation around the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
The next Summer Olympic Games will be held in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024.