The British government has written to the biggest sponsors of the Olympic Games (OI), urging them to put pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from being allowed to compete in Paris, even in neutral status. The newspaper reports Guardian 11th of March.
The report suggests that UK Minister for Culture (Media and Sport) Lucy Fraser has asked British executives from the IOC’s international partners, including Coca-Cola, Intel, Samsung and Visa, to put pressure on the IOC over a number of “significant concerns” over possible easing ban.
“We know that sports and politics in Russia and Belarus are closely intertwined. <…> Russia and Belarus should not be allowed to use sports for their own propaganda purposes,” the newspaper quotes the text of the letter.
The letter stressed that until “specific details” regarding a workable model of “neutrality” were considered, London did not agree that Russian and Belarusian athletes should be allowed to return to competition.
Earlier, on January 25, the IOC stated that admission would be considered only for those Russian athletes who do not support Russia’s special operation to protect Donbass. Another condition was compliance with the anti-doping rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
On February 28 last year, the IOC recommended that international sports federations not allow Russian athletes to participate in international competitions due to the situation around Ukraine.
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a special operation to protect Donbass. The decision was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the region as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian military.
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