Paris, Europe Brief News- 40 countries are expected to boycott the 2024 Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in Paris.
Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia have collectively refuted International Olympic Committee (IOC) plans to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the Paris Olympics next year.
Poland’s sport and tourism minister branded the event “pointless” if it materialised.
Kamil Bortniczuk said he believed it would be possible to build a coalition nation, including big guns such as Great Britain, the United States and Canada, to support a block on the IOC’s plans before a meeting next Friday.
The IOC announced last week that it would “explore a pathway” to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in Paris under a neutral flag, adding that “no athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport”.
The move prompted condemnation, with the UK Government saying the plan was a “world away from the reality of war”.
Ukraine sports minister Vadym Guttsait said the country’s sporting bodies needed to “strengthen communication” with international federations to keep a ban in place on Russian and Belarusian athletes, which was imposed by the IOC’s executive committee immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
However, IOC president Thomas Bach has since said that was only intended as a “protective” measure towards those athletes, and now insists they should not be discriminated against.