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Monday, March 20, 2023

Nordic countries are again urged to prevent Russian athletes from participating in international competitions

On Tuesday, the Olympic committees of the Nordic countries sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterating their opposition to the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in international sports competitions.

Recall that last month the IOC said that athletes from Russia and Belarus could be allowed to participate in the Paris Olympics next year if they qualify for the Asian Games.

“Now is not the right time to consider their return; this is our position,” the letter reads.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus, who support Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, have been banned from numerous international competitions, and organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics have said they will follow the IOC’s decision on people allowed to participate in the Games.

A joint statement issued Tuesday by the Olympic committees, Paralympic committees and Nordic sports confederations said they strongly oppose Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials participating in international sports competitions.

“We, the Olympic and Paralympic Committees and the sports confederations of the Nordic countries, take this opportunity to reaffirm our strong support for the people of Ukraine and the demand for peace,” the statement said.

Last week, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland called on international sports organizations to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the Olympics and other competitions as the war in Ukraine continues.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said allowing Russia to participate in the 2024 Paris Games would demonstrate that “terror is to some extent acceptable”.

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