Macron: No Russian flags at Paris 2024 Olympics

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that no Russian flags will be allowed at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“Obviously there cannot be a Russian flag at the Paris Games,” Macron said in an interview with French sports paper L’Équipe. “I think there’s a consensus [on that].”

Macron went on to add that the Russian flag had “no place” at the 2024 Olympics, at a time when Russia is “committing war crimes, when it’s deporting children.”

Asked about whether Russian athletes will be allowed to participate, Macron said that is not a decision for the host country, but rather for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The committee will have to decide what place to give Russian athletes “who sometimes have prepared for a lifetime, and can also be the victims” of the Kremlin’s regime, he said.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international sporting events has sparked heated debate.

Earlier this year, the IOC recommended Russian and Belarusian athletes compete as neutrals — without a national flag or anthem — in international competitions, despite the Ukrainian government’s campaign to have them banned and threatening to boycott events.

In July, Ukraine agreed to let its athletes compete against Russians and Belarusians, so long as athletes from the two countries are participating under a neutral banner.

In February, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she didn’t want Russian athletes competing at the 2024 Olympics, going against IOC’s recommendations.

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