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Ukraine war: Wladimir Klitschko for Olympic boycott

2023-02-15T07:35:01.688Z


IOC President Thomas Bach is pushing for Russian athletes to return to competitions. World boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko would even be in favor of Ukraine boycotting the Olympics – and finds clear words for Bach.


Enlarge image

Wladimir Klitschko with his brother Vitali in Kiev

Photo:

Efrem Lukatsky / dpa

Former world boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko has advocated an Olympic boycott by Ukraine if Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

"I would support a boycott and hope that other nations would also take a stand in this case," the 46-year-old told Sport Bild about a year after Russia's head of state Vladimir Putin had his troops invade Ukraine.

Klitschko therefore rejects the idea of ​​the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to allow President Thomas Bach and Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under a neutral flag at the Olympics.

"As long as the war lasts and Ukrainians are being killed, these athletes are not allowed to take part in the Olympic Games," said Klitschko.

Klitschko therefore made an appeal directly to the IOC President.

"Thomas Bach has to be careful that his decision doesn't make him an accomplice in Putin's cruel war," said the Olympic champion from Atlanta in 1996, adding: "I urge him to change his mind.

He must not hide under the white flag – he must now show his colors for the free world and the freedom of the people.« For Klitschko, whether Bach is still the right IOC President also depends on the Russia question: »If he allows Russian athletes - then he is no longer."

Klitschko's brother Vitali had previously demanded that Russian athletes publicly distance themselves from the war if they wanted to compete in the Olympics.

“Russians and Belarusians cannot participate unless they say 'no' to the war,” the mayor of Kiev told the AFP news agency. “If they publicly oppose the war, they can participate.

But they're scared."

ara/sid

Source: spiegel

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