Russia as a country has no place at the 2024 Paris Olympics and no Russian flag should be used at next year’s Games, French President Emmanuel Macron said.
Speaking to French sports newspaper l’Equipe, Macron added that discussions should be held about the participation of some Russian athletes who “may also be victims of this regime.”
“Obviously, there can’t be a Russian flag at the Paris Olympic Games. Because Russia as a country has no place [at the Games] when it has committed war crimes and deported children,” Macron said Wednesday.
“The real question that the Olympic world will have to decide is what place to give to these Russian athletes, who have sometimes prepared for a lifetime [for the Games], and may also be victims of this regime,” Macron added, acknowledging that Russian athletes may hold different views on the war.
Macron said that the “the Olympic world” had to hold discussions and that Ukraine must be part of that dialogue. Ultimately, he said, the decision would be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In March, the IOC announced a widely condemned recommended pathway to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in international competitions despite the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
So far, no decision has been taken on Russian and Belarusian athletes’ participation at the 2024 Olympics.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in post on Telegram in August that the country would be ready to boycott the Games if Russia and Belarus were allowed to complete.
“We are ready to boycott the Olympic Games in Paris if the Russian Federation and Belarus are allowed to participate in the competition,” Shmyhal said.
“We expect the IOC to make the right decision and resolutely remove the aggressor from the Olympics,” Shmyhal added.