Elina Svitolina believes the IOC committee needs to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Paris Olympics and send a clear message that “the heinous acts of their governments won’t come without any consequences.” Last week, the IOC indicated that Russian and Belarusian athletes would likely be allowed to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics but as “neutrals.” “The Olympics are the biggest dream and ultimate privilege for athletes.
They are the largest platform for inclusion and diversity in sports, capturing the attention of the world. With this in mind we must stick to banning Russian and Belarusian athletes, sending a strong message worldwide, that we are united in the sanctions imposed against Russia and Belarus and that there are consequences for the heinous acts of their governments; their lives cannot continue as normal and the world, nor the Russian or Belarusian people can be ignorant of the atrocities they are committing in Ukraine.
Volodymyr Androshchuk, one of Ukraine’s rising stars in track & field, was sadly killed in action. He will never fulfill his potential or dreams at the games, so why should Russian and Belarusian athletes get their chance when their governments are robbing innocent people and athletes of their chance?!!” Svitolina wrote in a message posted on her Twitter.
âð¼ðºð¦ @Olympics @iocmedia #RoadToParis2024 pic.twitter.com/4jQbvVQHzn — Elina Monfils (@ElinaSvitolina) February 1, 2023
Svitolina calls for the IOC to ban Russian, Belarusian athletes from Paris
Last week, the IOC released a statement, in which they confirmed there are plans to allow Russian and athletes players to allow competing.
In their statement, the IOC said banning someone just because of their passport does not seem fair. “No athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport,” the IOC’s statement read.
Also, the IOC said Russian and Belarusian athletes would represent as “neutral athletes and in no way represent their state or any other organisation in their country. No flag, anthem, colours or any other identifications whatsoever of these countries being displayed at any sports event or meeting, including the entire venue”.
Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine started, Svitolina was one of the first players to call for the ATP, WTA and ITF to take action. Russia and Belarus were banned from competing in team events such as the Davis Cup Finals and Billie Jean King Cup Finals but Russian and Belarusian players continued to compete in international events as neutrals.
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