Almost 100 Ukrainian athletes to take part in Olympics - Bidnyi

Almost 100 Ukrainian athletes to take part in Olympics - Bidnyi

About 100 Ukrainian athletes will take part in the 2024 Olympics.

This was announced by acting Minister of Youth and Sports Matvey Bidnyi on the air of the United News telethon, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"As of today, about 100 of our athletes will participate in this Olympics," Bidnyi said.

He also noted that there is no definitive information yet on whether Russian athletes will participate in the Games.

"There is no final answer yet, because the licences that have been allocated are information from international sports federations. But there will be another stage of their verification, which has been undertaken by the International Olympic Committee. A special commission has been set up there, to which we provide information about those athletes who are declared neutral by the federations. We'll see what decisions they make. But it's already clear that outright propagandists will not be allowed to participate in the Olympics. Although we are fundamentally opposed to the participation of any athletes from Russia, even under a neutral flag," said Bidnyi.

If Russian athletes do take part in the Games, the neutral uniform and flag they will compete under is a form of shame, the acting minister said.

"It will not be a team from Russia, it will be a group of people under an incomprehensible flag, wearing incomprehensible colours, instead of the national anthem, they will have some melody made up for them. This will be a symbol that the Russian flag, covered in shame as a result of their crimes in Ukraine, is not acceptable in any international arena," Bidnyi said.

Read also: Zelensky skeptical about possibility of Olympic truce

In addition, according to him, no Russian official will be able to receive accreditation and no Russian or Belarusian athlete will be able to attend the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games.

He also admitted that provocations by Russian athletes at the Games are possible.

"We understand that there may be provocations, we faced them during the qualifying competitions, but our athletes have the appropriate recommendations. ...In short: we must behave with dignity, ignore any provocations and attempts to provoke or involve our athletes in certain actions, photographs, celebrations, etc. We have to be ready for anything, and in these conditions it is also a big challenge for our athletes, we have to support them," said Bidnyi.

As reported, the 2024 Olympic Games will be held in Paris from 26 July to 11 August.

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