Lilia Podkopayeva is the 1995 world all-around champion, and the 1996 Olympic all-around and floor exercise champion representing Ukraine.
Of course she’s correct. The fairest and safest decision for the Olympic Movement is to exclude athletes from Russia and Belarus.
To: All National Olympic Committees and International Sports Federations of the world.
Almost a year ago, on February 24, 2022, Russia illegally invaded the sovereign and independent country of Ukraine, and began a brutal and unprovoked war. The genocide continues as Russian citizens are allowed to freely travel, leave their country and go about their daily lives with no concerns or guilt.
It is appalling and infuriating that the #IOC is allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to complete in the upcoming Olympics under neutral and non-political banners. Sport is anything but neutral and filled with more politics than anyone will admit.
We cannot allow their athletes to compete during the ongoing war, period.
Russia must be pressured from every direction to end the war and withdraw from Ukraine as soon as possible.
I appeal to all #NOC’s and #ISF’s of the world to unify in not supporting the allowance of Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the Olympics or sports while the war is continuing and ongoing.
We have a moral obligation to preserve the integrity of sport through humanity and compassion. We have a moral obligation to do what is right, not easier or politically correct.
EVEN THE GREATEST GAME IN THE WORLD IS NOT WORTH MORE THAN HUMAN LIFE.