The Danish government said Friday it opposed Russian athletes competing under a neutral flag at the 2024 Paris Olympics, which the International Olympic Committee is considering despite Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Since the invasion in February 2022, Russians and Belarusians have been banned from most international sporting events.
Ukraine wants to keep it that way and ban Russian athletes from competing in the 2024 Summer Olympics.
But the IOC has said it is examining a “pathway” for Russians to take part in the summer Games, competing under a neutral flag.
“It is Denmark’s official position, and it is my position as a minister, that we must not waver in our relations with Russia,” Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt told Danish news agency Ritzau.
“Russia must be excluded from all international sport as long as their attack on Ukraine continues,” he added.
The minister stressed that “this also applies to Russian athletes competing under a neutral flag. It is completely incomprehensible that there seems to be doubt about holding to that in the IOC.”
While several countries, notably in eastern Europe, opposed the proposal, the United States said Thursday it was in favour, as long as it was “absolutely clear” that the athletes were not representing the Russian or Belarusian states or their symbols.
The Danish and Norwegian Olympic committees had already said they were against the idea.