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Paris Olympics 2024: Moscow says won’t boycott Olympiad despite Russia-Ukraine war

President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov attends a state awards ceremony at the Committee’s headquarters in Moscow, Russia April 6, 2023.—Reuters 

Russia’s Olympic Committee has clarified that Moscow will not boycott the 2024 Olympics in Paris stating it “leads to nowhere”.

In a briefing on Thursday, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee, said “boycotting the Games leads to nowhere.” Russian athletes will have the choice to participate or not under a neutral banner, he added. 

Despite the sanctions placed on athletes from Russia and Belarus due to Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee has recommended allowing them to compete as individual neutrals in international competitions.

Pozdnyakov emphasized the importance of individual choice, stating, “We live together in a free state. Every person can, if they so wish, take the path of competing under a neutral banner.”

He also mentioned that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that this decision is a matter of personal moral choice.

However, Pozdnyakov expressed concerns about the current recommendations, describing them as prohibitive and potentially preventing a significant number of Russian athletes from participating in the Olympic Games.

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