UK Urges Olympic Sponsors To Back Ban On Russian Athletes

Britain has urged Olympic sponsors including Coca-Cola and Samsung to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in Paris next year.

The British government has urged Olympic sponsors Samsung and Coca-Cola to endorse a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Paris.

With just over two years until the Paris 2024 Olympics, London is hoping that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would cave in to sponsor pressure.

“We are adamant that the regimes in Russia and Belarus must not be permitted to utilise sport for their propagandist goals,” the government wrote in a letter to the presidents of the 13 official global partners of the IOC on Friday. The companies include Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Samsung, and Deloitte.

The message went on to say, “As an Olympic Partner, I would appreciate your opinions on this matter and invite you to join us in calling on the IOC to address the issues outlined in our statement.

The IOC laid out a plan in January to allow Russians and Belarusians, who have been banned from international competition since the invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago, to compete again under a neutral flag as long as they did not actively support the conflict.

More than 30 governments have requested “clarification” from the IOC over the eligibility of Russian and Belarusian competitors to compete.

The letter stated, “We have serious doubts regarding the viability of Russian and Belarusian Olympic athletes competing as ‘neutrals’… when they are directly subsidised and supported by their states.

The united letter came after a conference that took place earlier in London and was attended by countries like France, Britain, the United States, and Canada.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, also spoke at the gathering.

Even if they do so under a neutral flag, Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in Paris is not acceptable in the eyes of Ukraine, which has even threatened to boycott the event.

On Friday, the International Fencing Federation made the controversial decision to allow athletes from Belarus and Russia to compete in Olympic qualifying events. This decision infuriated Kyiv.

Written by Muhammad Qasim