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Olympics-Russia says Beijing diplomatic boycott ‘meaningless’

FILE PHOTO: A woman hangs a ribbon near the logo of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games in a park in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: A woman hangs a ribbon near the logo of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games in a park in Beijing, China, December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

December 9, 2021

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The head of Russia’s Olympic Committee on Thursday said the country does not support a diplomatic boycott of some Western countries over the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, denouncing the move. This is meaningless.

The United States, Canada, Australia and Britain announced they would not send any state officials to the Olympics in February because of China’s human rights record. China thinks these countries will pay the price.

“From the point of view of (a) sport, these measures are completely meaningless,” Stanislav Pozdnyakov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, told reporters.

“These measures are political in nature… We really hope that they will not cast a shadow over the Olympics.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the Beijing Olympics from February 4 to 20 after receiving an invitation from China.

“Our head of state will be present and this will be an additional motivating factor for all members of the Russian Olympic Committee,” said Mr. Pozdnyakov.

Russian athletes are banned from competing at major international events under their flag and song as part of a doping ban that ends in December 2022.

In Beijing, the Russians will compete as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee under the initials “ROC”.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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Huynh Nguyen

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