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Ukraine ends boycott of competitions with neutral Russian, Belarusian athletes

by Daria Bevziuk July 27, 2023 7:10 AM 1 min read
A woman in Krakow, Poland holds up a banner calling to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Olympics. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian athletes will be able to compete alongside Belarusians and Russians if they maintain a neutral status, Sports Minister Vadym Gutzeit announced on July 26.

The ministry's order still prohibits Ukrainian athletes from participating in competitions "where athletes representing the Russian Federation and/or the Republic of Belarus compete under their national flags."

If there is any sign of breach of the neutral status, the order states that the national team has to terminate its participation in an event.

In March 2023, Ukrainian officials announced the decision to boycott joint competitions with athletes from Russia and Belarus.

Gutzeit said on TV last week that he cannot give the green light for tournaments or competitions involving Russians and Belarusians. As a result of this policy, Ukrainian grandmaster Vasyl Ivanchuk was not allowed leave the country for the 2023 Chess World Cup.

A day ago, the International Olympic Committee announced that it did not invite Russia and Belarus to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. It has not made a decision about Russian and Belarusian athletes with a neutral status.

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