Denmark wants Russian athletes banned from Olympics

Loïc Padovani
February 7th, 2023

This article is more than 1 year old.

With the IOC wavering in making a decision, the Danes are adament that Paris 2024 should be without athletes from Russia and Belarus

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) may be hesitating regarding including Russian and Belarusian athletes in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. But Denmark seems steady in its position.

Culture minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt has state that the two countries should not be part of the event.

“It is the official position of Denmark – and it is my position as minister – that we must not waver in relation to Russia. The government’s line is clear. Russia must be excluded from all international sport as long as their attacks on Ukraine continue,” Engel-Schmidt told BT.

Some Russian athletes have been authorised to take part of the international competitions – like during the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing – under a neutral flag following the doping scandal in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

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Applauded by Ukraine
Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022, Denmark’s position has been in line with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Zelenskyy affirmed he will do his best to ensure that Russians and Belarusians won’t be in Paris in 2024.

“This also applies to Russian athletes who participate under a neutral flag. It is completely incomprehensible that there seems to be any doubt about the line in the IOC. And that has been the Danish line ever since Russia attacked Ukraine,” Engel-Schmidt added.

The Norwegian Olympic Committee also supported the idea, whereas the US contended that the athletes don’t represent the two countries and their symbols.

For its part, Latvia threatened to boycott the Olympics altogether should if Russian and Belarusian athletes be permitted to compete in France next year.


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