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Baltics want Russian, Belarusian athletes Olympic decision reversed

Olympic games ceremony (photo is illustrative).
Olympic games ceremony (photo is illustrative). Source: Greg Martin/IOC

The three Baltic presidents expect the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games to be reversed, LRT reported.

Speaking on Monday in Tallinn, President Alar Karis also said he found the IOC's decision unacceptable, both "as a citizen and a person who likes sports".

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told reporters the decision was "disappointing".

"We already see reactions from various federations, and I think that Olympic principles have nothing to do with terror, murder, or destruction. So, it's highly discouraging to see such decisions right now, in the critical stage of the war in Ukraine," he added.

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics said that the decision undermines "some of the key principles of the Olympic movement".

On Friday, the IOC confirmed that Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete under a neutral flag if they do not actively support the war in Ukraine. However, teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport will not be allowed to participate.

The presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania met in Tallinn on December 11, 2023. Source: Vabariigi Presidendi Kantselei/ Raigo Pajula

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Editor: Helen Wright

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