Ukraine Olympics team’s boycott plans for the 2024 Olympics in France have been met with strong criticism from International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) President, Thomas Bach. He even alluded to the possibility of punishment against Ukrainian athletes, as reported by German journalist Hajo Seppelt on Twitter, referring to the 31 January Bach’s letter to Vadym Huttsait, President of Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee (NOC).
Must read. Poisoned gift. Original letter by the IOC president to Ukrainian NOC boss. Bach is threatening UKR NOC (because allegedly violating “fundamentals of the Olympic Movement”) while supporting athletes from RUS – which is violating every principle of the civilised world. pic.twitter.com/ikT3OE6Njz
— Hajo Seppelt (@hajoseppelt) February 9, 2023
According to the information, Bach responds to Huttsait’s 26 January letter stating that the NOC of Ukraine is contemplating a boycott of the Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes participate.
“Threatening a boycott of the Olympic Games which, as you inform me, the NOC of Ukraine is currently considering, goes against the fundamentals of the Olympic Movement and the principles we stand for, in this respect, the NOC of Ukraine certainly does not enjoy the support or solidarity of the vast majority of stakeholders of the Olympic Movement. And as history has shown, previously boycotts did not achieve their political ends and only served to punish the athletes of the boycotting NOCs,” asserted Bach.
Bach noted that the final decision regarding the admission or non-admission of Russians and Belarusians to the Olympic Games has not yet been made. However, Ukraine has already communicated its position to other states, thereby exerting pressure on them.
In addition, the IOC president asserts that most nations viewed this position as “extremely regrettable.”
Bach emphasized that excluding Russian and Belarusian athletes from the Olympic Games would violate the principles of the International Olympic Movement. He added that the United Nations Human Rights Council also opposed such a ban.
In addition, the IOC president refuted Ukraine’s claims that the International Olympic Committee supports war, murder, and destruction.
“Such statements cannot be the basis for any constructive discussion,” stated Bach.