Olympic Games on the brink as 40 nations threaten to pull out

Poland‘s Sport and Tourism Minister, Kamil Bortniczuk reckons that up to 40 countries could boycott the next Olympic Games. This comes after Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia jointly rejected an International Olympic Committee (IOC) plan to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Bortniczuk said…

“Considering this, I don’t think we will face tough decisions before the Olympics and, if we were to boycott the Games, the coalition we will be a part of will be broad enough to make holding the Games pointless.”

The International Olympic Committee‘s recent announcement to “explore a pathway” for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under a neutral flag has prompted widespread condemnation.

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The UK Government has called the plan a “world away from the reality of war,” while Ukraine’s Sports Minister, Vadym Guttsait, is pushing for international sporting federations to keep the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes in place.

However, IOC President Thomas Bach insists that these athletes should not be discriminated against and should be allowed to participate as neutral athletes. On the other hand, sports ministers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland have called on international sports organizations and federations to remove Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions until the war ends.

The US government supports the suspension of Russian and Belarusian sports governing bodies from international sports organizations and is also encouraging organizations to stop broadcasting events in both countries.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said…

“If athletes are permitted to participate in events such as the Olympics, it should be as neutral athletes and it should be absolutely clear that they are not representing the Russian or Belarusian states.”

The IOC warned Ukraine and other nations about the implications of threatening a boycott. It said…

“Threatening a boycott of the Olympic Games goes against the fundamentals of the Olympic movement and the principles it stands for. A boycott is a violation of the Olympic charter and has historically only served to punish the athletes of the boycotting countries.”

This story is likely to run right up until the Games begin with several twists and turns on the way.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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