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the French government delays concerning the participation of Russian athletes

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The French government relied on Wednesday to a decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “by the summer” on the thorny subject of the participation of Russian athletes in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, without closing the door. to a “penalty”. At the end of January, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded from his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that the Russians be banned from the next Olympics. The pressure increased on Tuesday, when the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, rallied to this hard line “as long as there is war” led by Russia in Ukraine.

A decision must be made by the summer according to Olivier Véran

Despite repeated calls from kyiv to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Olympics, the IOC is now pushing international federations to consider their participation “under a neutral banner”. “A decision must be taken by the summer”, by the IOC, said the spokesman for the French government, Olivier Véran, in front of the press. “So no position has yet been formally agreed with the IOC”, “I let international cooperation take place”, he added.

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However, he did not seem to close the door to an exclusion by evoking “the constancy of France on the wish that all that is sanction can be applied fully and entirely”. Since the reappearance of the debate on the presence or not of the Russians and Belarusians in Paris, the various protagonists return the responsibility for a decision on this subject.

The IOC will decide on the participation of the Russian delegation

The organizers of Paris-2024 designate the IOC as the decision-maker, now imitated by the French government authorities. For its part, the Olympic body based in Lausanne insists that it is the international sports federations (IF) which remain “the only authorities” governing their competitions at the Olympic Games. The said federations remain silent for the moment.

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Even if it traditionally sends its convocations to the national Olympic committees a year before the Games, the IOC has never announced a decision “before the summer” like that mentioned by the French spokesperson. On the sidelines of a press conference at the Olympic Games Organizing Committee on Wednesday, Tony Estanguet, its president, also repeated that it was “up to the IOC to decide at the end whether the Russian delegation will be authorized to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris”.

“It’s not the same doping and massacring a people”

Present at this conference, Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy mayor of Paris, considered that the mayor Anne Hidalgo had “a very clear expression” and also designated the IOC as “decision-maker in the matter”. Asked about the change of foot of the mayor of Paris, who said she was in favor at the beginning of January of participation under a “neutral banner”, Emmanuel Grégoire replied that she had “analyzed the situation a little”: “It is not not the same as doping and massacring a people”. The Russians participated in the Tokyo and Beijing Olympics in 2021 under a neutral banner because of their conviction for doping by international bodies.

Source: Europe1

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