Ukraine will do all to ban Russian, Belarusian athletes from international competitions – Guttsait

Ukraine will do all to ban Russian, Belarusian athletes from international competitions – Guttsait

Ukraine will make every effort to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in international sports competitions.

Vadym Guttsait, the Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and President of the National Olympic Committee, said this on Ukrainian television, Ukrinform reports.

"It is very important for us, for all Ukrainians, for our sports industry, that there are no Russian and Belarusian athletes. Therefore, we will go on all fronts and use all opportunities to make sure that they do not [participate in international competitions]. The ministers of other countries have already expressed their views, and I thank them very much. It is still very important for us that the Olympic Committees support us. The Baltic Olympic Committees support us, the Scandinavian Olympic Committees support us, and we will work with others in the future," Guttsait said.

Read also: Zelensky: If killings and missile strikes were Olympic sports, Russia would have taken first place

He noted that not a single athlete from Russia or Belarus has ever spoken out against the war, because they all support it.

"They all take part in all pro-war events being held in Russia. Pro-war competitions are held there. They raise money to support the war. They stand with the letters 'Z' on sports uniforms. How can you see them at our international competitions?" Guttsait said.

The minister expressed hope that Ukraine's position would be heard and Russian and Belarusian athletes would not participate in international sports competitions.

In late January, the IOC said it intended to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to performances at international competitions as neutrals.

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