Permitting athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete on the Paris Olympics may result in a large-scale boycott and render the Video games “pointless,” Poland’s sports activities minister mentioned on Thursday.

The remarks come after Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia accused the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) of advancing particular exemptions permitting Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete on the Video games.

In a joint assertion, sports activities minsters from the 4 nations mentioned such actions would allow sport “for use to legitimize and distract consideration from Russia’s warfare of aggression towards Ukraine.”

Final week, the IOC outlined a multi-step plan for Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part on the Paris Olympics and the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan, arguing that “no athlete ought to be prevented from competing simply due to their passport.”

Kamil Bortniczuk, Poland’s Minister of Sport and Tourism, instructed Reuters: “I’m satisfied {that a} assembly that’s deliberate for February 10 will attain a conclusion of over 30 or perhaps 40 sports activities ministers – together with these from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan – to decisively reject the thought to permit athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate within the Video games.

“Contemplating this, I don’t suppose we’ll face robust selections earlier than the Olympics and, if we had been to boycott the Video games, the coalition we will likely be part of will likely be broad sufficient to make holding the Video games pointless.”

Kamil Bortniczuk speaks at his office in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday.

Russian and Belarusian athletes are presently banned by many sporting federations following a earlier advice from the IOC.

Final week the IOC mentioned that Russian and Belarusian athletes would compete as impartial athletes in the event that they had been to take part on the Olympics.

The transfer has been recommended by the workplace of the excessive fee of Human Rights, which mentioned: “We urge the IOC to undertake a call in that course and to go additional, guaranteeing the non-discrimination of any athlete on the premise of their nationality.”

And on Thursday, White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre didn’t object to particular person athletes from Russia or Belarus competing on the Olympics, so long as it’s “completely clear” that they don’t seem to be representing their mom nations.

Nevertheless, the IOC has come below sturdy criticism from Ukrainian tennis participant and Olympic bronze medalist Elina Svitolina, in addition to former boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko, who received a gold for Ukraine on the 1996 Olympics.

“We should persist with banning Russian and Belarusian athletes, sending a powerful message worldwide that we’re united within the sanctions imposed towards Russia and Belarus and that there are penalties for the heinous acts of their governments,” mentioned Svitolina.

This week, responding to feedback made by Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak, the IOC decried “defamatory statements” that it mentioned “can’t function a foundation for any constructive dialogue.”

CNN has contacted the IOC relating to a possible boycott of the Video games.

When beforehand contacted by CNN, the IOC pointed in the direction of a press release on its web site about solidarity with Ukraine and sanctions towards Russia and Belarus. Within the questions and solutions assertion, the IOC mentioned the participation of Russian or Belarusian athletes at Paris 2024 “has not been mentioned but” and described Ukraine’s menace of a boycott at a “untimely stage” as “extraordinarily regretful.”

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