Former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko needs the subsequent Olympics to ban the participation of any Russian athletes, even when they haven’t publicly endorsed their nation’s invasion of Ukraine.
Klitschko, who dominated the heavyweight scene all through the 2000s, revealed a video on Monday during which he advised that members of the Worldwide Olympic Committee can be benefactors of Russia’s battle effort in the event that they allowed athletes from Russia in addition to Belarus, Russia’s ally, to partake within the 2024 Paris Summer season Video games.
Final week, the IOC provided a path for Russians and Belarusians to qualify for the Olympics, prompting broad criticism, together with from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Beneath this potential protocol, Russians and Belarusians who haven’t overtly supported the battle would compete as impartial athletes with no flag or anthem.
Klitschko, who picked up an Olympic gold medal on the 1996 Atlanta video games, has been a vocal critic of Russia ever because the nation waged battle with Ukraine one yr in the past. Klitschko’s brother, the previous heavyweight champion Vitali, is mayor of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
“You’re the consultant of the common values of tolerance and peace,” Klitschko mentioned in a video addressed to IOC president Thomas Bach. “I inform you, the Russians are Olympic champions in crimes in opposition to civilians.”
“They’ve the gold medal within the deportation of kids and rape of ladies,” Klitschko continued, referring to Russians. “You can not put your Olympic emblem on these crimes as a result of you may be an confederate with this abominable battle. Don’t do that. In any other case, you’ll betray the Olympic spirit.”
“The world is watching you, historical past will choose you,” Klitschko mentioned. “Good luck together with your determination.”
Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak known as the IOC a “promoter of battle, homicide and destruction” following the group’s determination concerning Russian athletes.
The IOC responded by saying that it “rejects within the strongest attainable phrases this and different defamatory statements.”