The UK will continue to support the ongoing ban of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international sporting events, including next year’s. Olympicsaccording to the culture secretary Lucy Frazer.
The International Olympic Committee ahead of this week’s one-year anniversary of the invasion of Russia Ukraine – to explore the possibility of athletes from Russia and Belarus competes in qualification events for Paris 2024 as neutral.
But more than 30 countries, including the UK, US, France and Germany, have pledged continued support for the ban to remain in place as the war in Ukraine continues.
Frazer, who chaired a meeting of ministers from countries united to want the ban to continue earlier this month, said: IOCHis plans are “not credible” and urged the governing body to reconsider its stance.
“We agree that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin cannot use sports to justify his actions on the world stage,” he said. “This coalition of nations has supported Ukraine on many fronts and we will continue to support it.
“Today we express our serious concern about the International Olympic Committee’s plans for Russia and Belarus that could see a way back into elite athletics.
“The plans to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in Paris are not credible.
“With tanks from the UK, the US and European partners arriving in Ukraine in the coming weeks, and with (Ukraine) president (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy expressing grave concern that Russia’s spring offensive is imminent, we call on the IOC to take its position: reconsider.”
Ukraine’s sports minister has suggested that his country may boycott next year’s Olympics if Russian athletes compete.