Ukraine Advises Athletes to Maintain Distance from Russian, Belarusian Olympians in Paris

Ukraine's Olympic Committee advises athletes to maintain distance from Russian and Belarusian competitors at the 2024 Paris Olympics to avoid provocations. The guidelines come after the IOC allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals, sparking controversy amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Ukraine Advises Athletes to Maintain Distance from Russian, Belarusian Olympians in Paris

Ukraine Advises Athletes to Maintain Distance from Russian, Belarusian Olympians in Paris

The Ukrainian Olympic Committee has issued guidelines for its athletes to maintain distance from Russian and Belarusian competitors at the 2024 Paris Olympics. The recommendations aim to avoid potential provocations and uphold neutrality requirements amid the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, with Belarus supporting Russia.

Ukrainian athletes are discouraged from having any contact with representatives of the "aggressor states" inside and outside Olympic venues. They are advised not to engage in discussions with Russian and Belarusian Olympians on social media, keep their distance during medal ceremonies, avoid sharing photos or videos, and refrain from joint press conferences, interviews, and live broadcasts, unless directly related to competitions.

The guidelines come after the International Olympic body (IOC) decided to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals, provided they do not openly support Russia in the conflict against Ukraine and have no army connections. Ukraine had initially threatened to boycott the Paris Olympics in response to this decision but has since confirmed its participation, with 89 Ukrainian athletes having qualified for the Games scheduled from July 26 to August 11.

Why this matters: The decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals has sparked controversy, highlighting the challenges of balancing athletic competition with geopolitical tensions. The decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals has sparked controversy, highlighting the challenges of balancing athletic competition with geopolitical tensions. As the Olympics approach, the world will be watching to see how these tensions play out, with potential implications for international relations and the future of the Olympic games.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus will now compete as Individual Neutral Athletes (AINs), without their national flags, anthems, or participation in team sports. Russian President Vladimir Putin has questioned the IOC's rules, and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Sports Ministry are considering whether to participate in the Olympics. This is not the first time Russian athletes will compete without their national flag; over 330 athletes participated in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 under the flag of the ROC following doping violations.

Ukrainian sports authorities stated, "These recommendations relate to contacts with representatives of aggressor countries, and also other persons who support the policies of these countries and may be used for propaganda purposes.

The 2024 Paris Olympics are approaching, and the world will be watching to see how Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian athletes cope with the tense political situation while striving to uphold the Olympic spirit of unity and fair play. The Ukrainian Olympic Committee's guidelines highlight the complex situation surrounding the Games and the challenges faced by Ukrainian athletes as they prepare to compete on the world stage while their country remains in conflict with Russia, supported by Belarus.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukraine Olympic Committee advises athletes to maintain distance from Russian and Belarusian competitors at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
  • Athletes are discouraged from direct contact, social media interactions, and joint press conferences with Russian and Belarusian Olympians.
  • Russian and Belarusian athletes will compete as neutrals, without national flags, anthems, or team sports participation.
  • Ukraine initially threatened to boycott the Olympics but will participate with 89 qualified athletes.
  • The 2024 Paris Olympics will be closely watched for how athletes navigate geopolitical tensions and uphold Olympic values.