PARIS (AP) — Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says there should be no Russian delegation allowed at the Paris Olympics next year if Moscow continues its war against Ukraine.
Hidalgo previously said Russian competitors could take part under a neutral flag but she backpedaled on Tuesday in an interview with French media France Info.
Acknowledging that a final decision belongs to the International Olympic Committee, Hidalgo said she wishes Russian athletes will be banned “as long as there is this war, this Russian aggression on Ukraine.”
“It is not possible to parade as if nothing had happened, to have a delegation that comes to Paris while the bombs continue to rain down on Ukraine.”
Hidalgo’s comments came after Ukraine’s sports minister last week renewed a threat to boycott the games if Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete and said Kyiv would lobby others to join.
No nation has so far declared it will boycott the 2024 Summer Games. But Ukraine won support from Poland, the Baltic nations and Denmark, who pushed back against an IOC plan to allow delegations from Russia and ally Belarus to compete in Paris as “neutral athletes” without flags or anthems.