KYIV, Ukraine (AFP) – Russian athletes should have “no place” at the 2024 Paris Olympics, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday as his country marked 11 months of war.
“I particularly emphasized that athletes from Russia should have no place at the Olympic Games in Paris,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram following a telephone call with Macron.
Russia launched its invasion on February 24 last year, just days after the closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee swiftly sanctioned Russia and neighboring Belarus, which Moscow’s troops used as a launchpad for the assault.
No international sporting event has been organized in Russia or Belarus since the outbreak of the conflict and the countries’ national symbols have been removed from such major competitions.
IOC chief Thomas Bach said last year that he would like to see the sporting sanctions extended in 2023 and a strong Ukrainian team at the Paris Olympics and the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.
Zelensky in December called for all Russian athletes to be completely isolated from international competitions.
The Ukrainian president also told Bach that he fiercely opposed the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s view that Russian and Belarusian athletes could compete at the Paris games as long as they did not bear their countries’ flags.