Ukraine’s Zelenskyy: Russian athletes should not be allowed to compete at Olympics

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian athletes should not compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris because it would show that “terror is somehow acceptable,” the BBC reported on Monday.

Zelenskyy said he condemns the idea of neutrality in sports at a time when his country’s athletes have fought and died in war, while their Russian counterparts might be allowed to compete.

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The Ukrainian President’s comments came after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that Russian and Belarusian athletes could compete as neutrals at the 2024 Olympics, a move which Zelenskyy believes are “attempts to tell the whole world that terror is somehow acceptable,” he said in his nightly address on Sunday.

Russia must not be allowed to use the international tournament “or any other sport event as propaganda for its aggression or its state chauvinism,” he added.

The IOC announcement made earlier this week was done to ensure that “no athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport,” the committee said.

Zelenskyy drew comparisons between the upcoming sporting event and the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin when Nazis were in power.

“There was a major Olympic mistake. The Olympic movement and terrorist states definitely should not cross paths,” he said.The United Kingdom also condemned the IOC’s decision as a “world away from the reality of war.”

Zelenskyy has raised the issue with French President Emmanuel Macron.

His comments came as Russian forces continued to attack the Ukrainian city of Kherson into the night on Sunday, after a day of attacks that left at least three people dead and six injured.

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