Olympic officials asked Ukraine to spy on Russian athletes – IOC chief  — RT World News

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has admitted to a pair of pranksters that Ukrainians were asked to spy on Russian athletes online so they could be banned from the upcoming Paris Games.

In a video call published on Tuesday, in which a Russian duo known as Vovan and Lexus impersonated an African official, Bach claimed that by imposing sanctions on Russian athletes, the I.O.C. “Punishing those responsible for the annexation.”

The IOC president appeared to be referring to the former Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye, which voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in a plebiscite in 2022. These regions followed Crimea, which did the same in 2014 after a backed vote. from the West. Coup in Kyiv.

The Russian national anthem cannot be played and the Russian flag cannot be raised [at the Paris 2024 Olympics]”,” The President of the International Olympic Committee stated that.

In response to a question about whether Russian athletes who support the conflict in Ukraine deserve the right to participate in the Olympic Games, Bach revealed that the IOC has a special committee that monitors public statements by athletes supporting the government in Moscow.

“We have a special supervisory committee with an independent company that monitors the Internet, media and public advertising.” He said.

“We also offered to the Ukrainian side – and not only offered, but also asked to provide us with their knowledge about the behavior of these athletes or officials.” Bach revealed as well.

He stressed that any athlete who proves his support for the Russian government will be banned from participating in the Olympics.

Russian athletes are allowed to participate in the Games as neutrals in individual sports, but are prohibited from participating in team events.

After the conflict began in Ukraine in February 2022, the International Olympic Committee recommended that athletes from Russia and its close ally Belarus not be allowed to compete in international events. In December last year, the body ruled that a limited number of people from the two countries could participate in the Olympic Games as AINs (individual neutral athletes).

In March, the international body announced that the maximum number of Russians who could qualify for the Paris Olympics was 55, while the number of Belarusians was limited to 28 athletes. However, according to IOC Director James Macleod, the two countries are unlikely to meet the quotas, and around 36 Russian and 22 Belarusian athletes are expected to arrive at the Games.

Several senior European officials, including Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, have been caught up in fake phone calls from Russian duo Vovan and Lexus in recent months, during which the politicians revealed their thoughts on sensitive topics such as the conflict in Ukraine. .

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