A senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has criticized the International Olympic Committee (IOC), after it suggested that athletes from Russia should be allowed to compete in the games with certain restrictions.
Mikhail Podoliak called the IOC a “promoter of war, murder & destruction” that takes “pleasure” in watching the destruction of his country. He also implied that the IOC was taking Russian bribes for its decision to “platform [Russia] to promote genocide.” The allegations, for which the Ukrainian official offered no evidence, came in a tweet on Monday.
The tweet appears to be Podoliak’s response to the IOC’s announcement last week that it was exploring “a pathway” for athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in future events, including the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris. They would not be able to do so under a national flag and must not be “actively supporting” the Russian military operation against Ukraine, according to the plan.
Officials in Kiev reacted to the news with outrage. The Ukrainian National Olympic Committee threatened to boycott the event in France, should athletes from Russia and Belarus be allowed to compete. Zelensky said he had sent a letter to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, to pressure him to prevent such a decision.