While Ukraine is under an unwarranted military attack from Russia, they propose to boycott sporting events that include Russians and Belarusians.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach offered to support Ukrainian athletes while their national committee won’t. Therefore he is driving a wedge between the athletes and the committee.
Bach has pledged to provide Olympic Solidarity funding to any Ukrainian athletes affected by their National Olympic Committee’s proposal to ban them from international competitions in which Russian and Belarusian athletes are taking part.
“If Russians and Belarusians are allowed to compete, you need to play with them and win, and not avoid the battle.
“The IOC has always followed and will also follow in this case its policy to protect the athletes.
Therefore, if this was implemented, the athletes who want to compete and would lose the support of their National Sports Federation and their National Olympic Committee because of Government interference could count on the direct support of the Olympic Movement’s Solidarity Fund for the Olympic community of Ukraine and the athletes’ support programmes of the IOC.”
Ukrainian Sports Minister and NOC President Vadym Gutzeit questioned, in March, on the IOC’s claim that its Solidarity Fund has benefited 3,000 athletes and coaches from the country.
The IOC has said its Solidarity Fund totalling $7.5 million USD is being used to allow Ukrainian athletes to continue training and competing at major events.
Gutzeit said that about $1.5 million to $2 million was provided to the federation and to the athletes who are preparing. “It is difficult to say that this is the support of 3,000 athletes because it is not enough.”
“This raises serious questions about the autonomy of Ukrainian sport,” the IOC said in its answer to a question on this topic.
“If implemented, such a decision would a) hurt only the Ukrainian athlete community and the National Sports Federations, and in no way impact the war that the world wants to stop, and that the IOC has so vehemently condemned.
“The IOC has always maintained that it is not up to Governments to decide which athletes can participate in which international competitions.
“If implemented, such a decision would b) also go against the position of a number of Ukrainian athletes and other members of the Ukrainian Olympic community.”