PARIS – Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Tuesday she does not want Russian athletes at the 2024 Olympics, sparking a heated debate.
Hidalgo said he favors allowing the Russians to compete as neutrals, or under the banner of the Olympic Games, marking a shift from his position last month, when he argued that athletes should not be denied the ability to compete. Based on where they come from.
“As long as this war is going on, this Russian aggression on Ukraine, it is not possible for a delegation to come to Paris, this Russian aggression on Ukraine, while bombs are raining on Ukraine,” Hidalgo said in a radio interview. Station France information.
The change of heart puts Paris’s Socialist mayor on a collision course with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has drawn up a roadmap to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete in 2024 under “neutral” and stricter conditions. Athletes from both countries have been banned from many international sporting events since Russia launched an all-out war against Ukraine last year.
The IOC’s move drew fire from Ukrainian officials, who stepped up lobbying efforts to ban the Russians and Belarusians and threatened to boycott the games. The row has turned into an international dispute, with Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also calling for a total ban last week.
While the decision ultimately rests with the IOC, Hidalgo is an important ally for the Ukrainian position, as he sits at the heart of Olympic preparations. Hidalgo said that if the IOC does not change its mind, he will publicly voice his disagreement.