back to top

    Poland should boycott Olympics if athletes from Russia and Belarus are allowed

    A deputy foreign minister of Poland has suggested that if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, the country should boycott the event.

    Pawel Jablonski stated to RMF FM radio on Friday that he plans to ask the Polish Olympic Committee to make such a decision.

    IOC controversial statement

    The International Olympic Committee declared last week that they were exploring the possibility of allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in the Paris 2024 Olympics as neutral contestants, thus having them compete under the Olympic flag.

    Poland’s reaction

    Kamil Bortniczuk, the Polish sports minister, told PAP (Polish Press Agency) later in the day that a meeting of his counterparts from European and non-European countries would be held on February 10.

    “(…) Around forty sports ministers from Europe and other parts of the world will issue a joint firm statement opposing the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris Olympics,”

    Bortniczuk said.

    “It will surely be a sharp position which will oppose the participation of Russians and Belarusians in the 2024 Olympics,”

    the minister said.

    Referring to an announcement of Ukraine and Latvia about the possible boycott of the forthcoming Olympics, Bortniczuk said that “this always is the strongest trump curd and a final solution.”

    “But I believe that these countries will not hesitate to use it,”

    he concluded.

    “If I am to evaluate the moral qualifications of sports officials, I could say that, in many cases, they would not be the highest,”

    Jablonski said.

    Having admitted that there was a possibility of money involved in the case, Jablonski said that, if such was the situation, it would be highly blameworthy.

    “But even if there was no money involved, such a decision (by IOC – PAP) would be not only a crime but also a mistake,”

    Jablonski said.

    Having pointed out that European sports unions decided to put a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, Jablonski said that this had happened “to a great extent” thanks to pressure from Poland.

    “Putin, just like Lukashenko, uses sports to build support so the ban on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in global competitions counteracts Russian propaganda,”

    the deputy minister said.

    Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia condemned on Thursday IOC efforts aimed at bringing Russian and Belarusian athletes back into competition.

    Read also ⤵️


    More in section