Olga Kharlan of Ukraine was disqualified from competing in the world championships the day after Paris celebrated one year till the 2024 Olympics because she refused to shake hands with Anna Smirnova of Russia.
The organizational and political risk that France and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are in before the Games brought home by Kharlan’s disqualification.
Major obstacles have presented themselves as a result of Russia’s escalating invasion of Ukraine, not the least of which is the crucial issue of Russian and Belarusian athlete participation.
Meanwhile, public opinion about the Olympics, which are schedule to take place 100 years after the city last hosted the quadrennial event, is at risk due to riots, pension strikes, and complaints about “exorbitant” ticket costs in France.
In a speech in June, IOC president Thomas Bach bemoaned Ukraine and Russia’s “diametrically opposed” views on neutral athletes’ participation. The IOC has come under fire for its position on Russian and Belarusian athletes competing at the Olympics.
Recent summer and winter Olympics have allowed Russian competitors to compete under neutral flags provided by the Russian and Belarusian Olympic Committees, and gold medal winners from those countries haven’t had to stand on the podium to the official national anthems.
Smirnova competing at the world championships in Milan as a neutral athlete because it forbidden for the Russian government to send representatives to these events.
A heavily criticiz recommend method to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in international competitions despite the continuing invasion of Ukraine was announce by the IOC in March.
The participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris has not yet been decide.
We are still faced with two irreconcilable perspectives, Bach stated during the remote IOC session, despite the fact that our suggestions are based on values and present a feasible course of action.