France President Emmanuel Macron has said that Russia as a country has no place at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
He added that the Russian flag should not be used at next year’s Games, as he recalled the invasion of Ukraine at the command of Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022, according to CNN.
Macron made this known while speaking to the French sports newspaper l’Equipe, adding that discussions should be held about the participation of some Russian athletes who “may also be victims of this regime.”
“Obviously, there can’t be a Russian flag at the Paris Olympic Games. Because Russia as a country has no place [at the Games] when it has committed war crimes and deported children,” Macron said Wednesday.
“The real question that the Olympic world will have to decide is what place to give to these Russian athletes, who have sometimes prepared for a lifetime [for the Games] and may also be victims of this regime,” Macron added.
Macron said, “the Olympic world” had to hold discussions and that Ukraine must be part of that dialogue. Ultimately, he said, the decision would be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In March, the IOC announced a widely condemned recommended pathway to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in international competitions despite the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
So far, no decision has been taken on Russian and Belarusian athletes’ participation at the 2024 Olympics.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a post on Telegram in August that the country would be ready to boycott the Games if Russia and Belarus were allowed to compete.
“We are ready to boycott the Olympic Games in Paris if the Russian Federation and Belarus are allowed to participate in the competition,” Shmyhal said.
“We expect the IOC to make the right decision and resolutely remove the aggressor from the Olympics,” Shmyhal added.