Russian Olympic chief says athletes must compete without restrictions



The head of Russia’s Olympic Committee said Tuesday that athletes representing Russia must not be subjected to different conditions from those of other countries, amid a growing row over their participation in the 2024 Paris Games.

“Russians must participate exactly on the same conditions as all other athletes. Any additional conditions or criteria are unwelcome, especially any that have political overtones, which are completely unacceptable for the Olympic movement,” Stanislav Pozdnyakov said, according to Russian news agencies.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said last week it was examining a “pathway” for Russians to take part in the summer Games next year, probably as neutral athletes rather than under their national flag.

Russia and its ally Belarus, which allowed its territory to be a stage ground for the offensive, have been sidelined from most Olympic sports since Russian forces invaded Ukraine last February. That announcement sparked an immediate backlash from Kyiv, with a Ukrainian presidential aide accusing the IOC of being a “promoter of war”.

Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Paris Games if Russians are allowed to take part.—APP