Our position has been and remains unchanged – no russian or belarusian athletes should be allowed at international competitions. This was stated by Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Vadym Huttsait, while commenting on the IOC statement following the Executive Board meeting on January 25, 2023.
The Minister noted that in the framework of further consultations organized by the IOC, unfortunately, most NOCs raised the issue of admission of russians and belarusians. Ukraine and some of the partner countries that took the floor opposed to such admission until the end of the russian aggression.
Vadym Huttsait emphasized that for the entire Ukrainian sports community, this was a matter of principle supported by both the President of Ukraine and the society as a whole.
According to the Minister, some international federations were outraged by IOC’s attempts to push for the return of russians and belarusians. Their leaders ignored invitations to the Olympic summit and stated their position at relevant IOC consultations.
“This situation is unacceptable for our country as well. We have appealed and will continue to appeal to all international organizations that can influence the situation and whose opinions can be taken into account by IOC members. Our position is unchanged: as long as the war in Ukraine continues, no russian and belarusian athletes should be allowed at international competitions!” the Minister emphasized.
He said that work was underway on further possible steps and priority measures to extend sanctions and prevent russians and belarusians from participating in international competitions.
“If we are not heard, I do not rule out the possibility that we will boycott and refuse to participate in the Olympics,” Vadym Huttsait emphasized.