Latvia remains opposed to having aggressor state athletes at Olympics

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As Russia's war in Ukraine continues, the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in the upcoming Olympic Games is not acceptable, the head of the Latvian Olympic Committee (LOC) Žoržs Tikmers said after the organization's general assembly on March 30, reprted the LETA newswire.

"Our attitude is unchanged - we support Ukraine, its people and athletes. As the war continues, the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in the upcoming Olympic Games is not acceptable. The IOC has given guidelines to international federations, which have already begun to consider them. By maintaining a strong position together with Ukraine, the Nordic countries , the Baltic States, Canada, New Zealand and others, these guidelines do not yet apply to the participation of neutral athletes in the next two Olympic Games," Tikmers told reporters.

The countries that are against the participation of these countries in the Olympic Games, even though they are in the minority, was concluded after a recent panel discussion.

"We also applied for debates and participated in them. Seven or eight national committees took a similar position, but the Asian National Olympic Committees Association and a whole series of countries from Africa and Asia, already mentioning specific competitions, took the opposite view - that the door should be opened for these athletes, " Tikmers said.

During the debate of the General Assembly, the Chairman of the Sports Subcommittee of the Saeima Education, Science and Culture Committee Davis Martins Daugavietis (New Unity) called on Latvian sports federations to be more proactive in matters related to the participation of aggressor countries in international competitions.

"I would like to appeal to every federation and every athlete - please form international unions, address your partner organizations in other countries and umbrella organizations, find out the opinions of Ukrainian federations about the situation. Only by talking and having a discussion out in the open will it be possible for us to be heard. I also appeal to the LOC, saying thank you for your clear position so far, at the same time I invite you to talk more actively with the IOC and other partners. We can always do more," said Daugavietis.

As previously reported, Latvia's Olympic Committee has taken a clear position that allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the Olympics would be unacceptable. The governments of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine have the same view. However, IOC chief Thomas Bach appears to favor having Russian and Belarusian athletes at the games even while the war of aggression continues.

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