The UK government has called on the biggest sponsors of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics to influence the IOC to prevent athletes from Russia and Belarus from competing.
The British government on Friday (March 10) appealed to the sponsors of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris to put pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prevent athletes from Russia and Belarus from competing. The corresponding request of the British Minister of Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Fraser is addressed to the 13 largest sponsors of the 2024 Olympic Games, including Airbnb, Visa and Samsung. “We know that sports and politics in Russia and Belarus are deeply intertwined, and we are determined to prevent these regimes from using sports for propaganda purposes,” Fraser wrote.
A few hours earlier, the Seimas of Lithuania adopted a resolution calling on all parliaments of the world to “express their clear and decisive disagreement” with any proposals to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials to participate in the Olympic Games or other international competitions, in particular under a neutral flag. All 109 members of the Lithuanian parliament voted to keep the restrictions in place until Russia ends its full-scale military aggression against Ukraine.
The IOC has not yet decided
At the same time, the IOC, as before, has not decided on the final decision on the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Paris Olympics. At the end of January, the Executive Committee of the IOC issued a statement according to which athletes from these countries can theoretically be admitted to the competition if two conditions are met. First, they can participate in tournaments as “neutral athletes” and “in no case represent their state or any other organization in their country.” The second condition is full compliance with the Olympic Charter. This means that only athletes who “did not oppose the peacekeeping mission of the IOC, actively supporting the war in Ukraine” and who followed all anti-doping rules should be allowed to compete.