Kyiv calls International Olympic Committee 'promoter of war'
published : 30 Jan 2023 at 16:45
KYIV, Ukraine: Ukrainian Presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak on Monday called the International Olympic Committee (IOC) a "promoter of war" after the sports body said it was considering ways for Russian athletes to compete.
"(The) IOC is a promoter of war, murder and destruction. The IOC watches with pleasure Russia destroying Ukraine and then offers Russia a platform to promote genocide and encourages their further killings," Podolyak said on Twitter.
"Obviously Russian money that buys Olympic hypocrisy doesn't have a smell of Ukrainian blood. Right, Mr. Bach?" he added referring to IOC president Thomas Bach.
The IOC has faced a backlash from Ukraine after it said last week it was looking into a "pathway" for Russians to take part, including as neutral athletes.
Russia and its ally Belarus have been sidelined from most Olympic sports since Russian forces invaded Ukraine last February.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday Russia's participation in the 2024 Paris Olympics would amount to showing that "terror can allegedly be something acceptable".
"As if it is possible to turn a blind eye to what Russia is doing to Kherson, to Kharkiv, to Bakhmut and Avdiivka," Zelensky said in his nightly address, referring to cities under constant Russian attacks.
Zelensky added that he sent a letter to President Emmanuel Macron on the matter following a phone call with the French leader last week.
"We must be sure that Russia will not be able to use it (the Olympics) or any other international sporting event to promote aggression or its state chauvinism," he said.
Ukraine's Sports Minister Vadym Goutzeit has warned his country could boycott the summer Olympics next year if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to take part.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on Thursday offered Russian and Belarusian athletes the chance to compete in this year's Asian Games.