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Activists demand Russia’s exclusion from the 2024 Olympics

The image shows the Olympic Games symbol on Trocadero place in front of the Eiffel Tower celebrating the upcoming Paris 2024 summer Olympics. Credit: depositphotos

Ukraine’s supporters have placed a petition on Change.org, demanding to ban Russian athletes from participating in the 2024 Paris Olympics under the Russian flag, or any other “false flag”.

The activists said that over 50% of Russian medalists are serving in the Russian armed forces.

“It is a crime against humanity to allow Russian soldiers to participate in the Olympics while their comrades continue this aggression in Ukraine,” the petition reads. 

The American University Kyiv, the authors of the petition, called on sponsors to publicly withdraw support and all advertising during the games if Russia participates.

It said that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) receives $2 billion in advertising from 13 sponsors. At least nine of the 13 major sponsors have ceased operating in Russia, including Coca-Cola, Visa, Airbnb, Toyota, Panasonic, Intel, GE, Bridgestone, and Atos. 

“We appeal to these nine sponsors to pressure the IOC to ban Russia,” the authors said. 

On 26 July, the International Olympic Committee sent invitations to 203 countries to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games. Three countries did not receive invitations: Russia, Belarus, and Guatemala. The latter has been suspended from the Olympic movement since September 2022 due to government interference in the independence of the country’s National Olympic Committee. 

However, “neutral” athletes from Belarus and Russia will be allowed, according to a previous decision of the committee.

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