Poland should boycott Olympics if Russians, Belarusians take part

2023-02-03 13:48 update: 2023-02-04, 14:25
Poland should boycott the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes participate, a deputy foreign minister has said.

Pawel Jablonski told the RMF FM radio broadcaster on Friday that he would call on the Polish Olympic Committee to take such a decision.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that it had been looking at options to include Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutral contestants at the Paris 2024 Olympics, which would mean competing under the Olympic flag. 

"If I am to evaluate moral qualifications of sports officials, I could say that, in many cases, they would not be the highest," Jablonski said.

Having admitted that there was a possibility of money involved in the case, Jablonski said that, if such was the situation, it would be highly blameworthy.

"But even if there was no money involved, such a decision (by IOC - PAP) would be not only a crime but also a mistake," Jablonski said.

Having pointed out that European sports unions decided to put a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, Jablonski said that this had happened "to a great extent" thanks to pressure from Poland.

"Putin, just like Lukashenko, uses sports to build support so the ban on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in global competitions counteracts Russian propaganda," the deputy minister said.  

Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia condemned on Thursday IOC efforts aimed at bringing Russian and Belarusian athletes back into competition. (PAP)