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Ukraine’s government announced that they will not participate in any 2024 Paris Olympic qualifying events if there will be Russians competing.

It was announced by the secretary of the cabinet of the Ministers of Ukraine, Oleg Nemchinov, who is also a member of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine (NOCU). Nemchinov also warned that National Federations who ignored the ruling would be punished.

“At the meeting of the Government, a protocol decision was made on the proposal of colleague President Vadym Gutzeit that we take part in qualifying competitions only where there are no Russians,” said Nemchinov.

“Accordingly, participation outside these criteria may be grounds for depriving Federations of their national status.”

The official announcement follows International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals. On Tuesday, amid a backlash from various National Sport Organizations, announced the guidelines for their inclusion.

Athletes from the two nations were banned from most international competitions in February 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and following the IOC executive board’s recommendation.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has taken the lead in continueing the ban on Russia and Belarus for their war efforts in Ukraine.

“Yesterday, I attended another funeral of a good acquaintance of mine, who gave more than 20 years to athletics and died in the Kharkiv area. He left behind three children. He volunteered for his second war. And he wasn’t a canteen cook, let’s put it that way. That is, he was serving in combat units,” Nemchinov said.

In February, 30 countries had publicly agreed that Russia and Belarus need to be banned for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Thomas Bach may have a mass boycott on his hands.

Bach defiant

Bach slammed European governments for criticizing his stance on Russia — calling them “deplorable.”

“It is deplorable to see that some governments do not want to respect the majority within the Olympic Movement and all stakeholders, nor the autonomy of sport which they are appraising and requesting from other countries in countless speeches, UN resolutions, European Union declarations and at every other opportunity,” said Bach.

“It is deplorable that these governments do not address the question of double standards with which we have been confronted in our consultations.

“We have not seen a single comment on their attitude on the participation of athletes whose countries are involved in the other 70 wars and armed conflict in the world.

“It is even more deplorable that they grossly neglect the very clear statement of the two special rapporteurs from the UN Human Rights Council, while in other issues they are always highlighting their firm requests for the respect of human rights.”