By Le Figaro with AFP
Judging an “unacceptable” approach by the International Olympic Committee, the Russian Minister of Sports defended his athletes this Friday.
Russia denounced Friday as “discriminatory” the conditions put forward by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the participation of Russian athletes in the 2024 Paris Olympics, which notably provide that they compete under a neutral banner.
“The conditions are discriminatory and go against sporting principles. They harm the Olympic Games themselves, and not Russian sport. This approach is absolutely unacceptable”declared Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin, quoted by the T news agency.
However, he indicated that Russian athletes having obtained the right to participate in the 2024 Olympics “will probably participate“. “We always support our own, they are our athletes, the members of our sports family”he continued.
The International Olympic Committee authorized Friday Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate under a neutral banner in the 2024 Paris Olympics (July 26 to August 11), excluding team events and if they have not actively supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Only eleven “neutral individual athletes” have so far qualified for the competition, eight Russians and three Belarusians, the IOC said in a press release, against around sixty Ukrainian athletes.