watch us on facebook
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, where the 2024 Olympics will be held, said on Feb. 7 that she "doesn't want" Russians to compete in the French capital "as long as there is war" against Ukraine.
Hidalgo told France Info that she was "not in favor" of permitting Russian athletes to compete as neutrals or under the Olympic flag, taking a U-turn from her last month's statement. In late January, she argued that athletes should not be barred from competing based on their origin country.
"While this war continues, this Russian aggression against Ukraine, it is impossible to parade as if nothing is happening, for the delegation to arrive in Paris while bombs are falling on Ukraine," said the Paris mayor.
Hidalgo added that she would publicly voice her disagreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) unless it changed its mind.
On Jan. 25, the IOC announced its plan to let Russians and Belarusians participate at the Olympics as "neutral athletes" despite President Volodymyr Zelensky's plea to exclude them entirely.
Reacting to the IOC's statement, Ukraine's Sports Minister Vadym Gutzeit said that Ukraine could boycott the Olympics if the IOC's plan advances.
Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania also called on the IOC to ban Russian athletes from participating in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games.