‘Wrong side of history’: Ukraine athletes accuse IOC of ‘kowtowing’ to Russia

  • Letter says ‘IOC must choose a side in this war’
  • Ukraine would boycott 2024 Olympics if Russia take part

Ukraine’s athletes have accused the International Olympic Committee of rewarding Vladimir Putin’s aggression and being “on the wrong side of history” in an escalating war of words over whether Russians should compete at the Paris 2024 Games. The IOC recently moved away from having an outright ban on athletes from Russia and Belarus and is investigating ways they can qualify for the Olympics under a neutral flag.

In a letter to Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee, sent last week, the IOC president, Thomas Bach, criticised Ukraine’s threat to boycott the Games, saying it would violate the Olympic charter. That stance has angered Ukraine’s athletes, who have hit back by suggesting the IOC is “kowtowing” to Russia.

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