Britain’s Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Fraser, said today that she has written to the main sponsors of the Olympic Games, including companies such as Coca-Cola, Intel and Visa, asking them to support the continuation of the ban on Russia and Belarus at the competitions.
In the letter, which was sent to the chief executives of the British subsidiaries of these companies, the government expressed its disagreement with the proposal of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to explore ways to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in upcoming Olympic events, including Paris 2024.
“We know how interdependent sports and politics are in Russia and Belarus, and we are determined that the Russian and Belarusian regimes cannot use sports for propaganda purposes,” the minister said in the letter released by the government.
Fraser criticized the “lack of clarity and concrete detail” in the plan for athletes from both countries to compete under a neutral flag, stressing that the UK believes they “should not be allowed to return to competition” under any circumstances.
The British minister explained that she had urged the International Olympic Committee to “reconsider its proposal” and urged the companies that sponsor the Olympic Games to press in this direction.
“Having hosted the Games in London in 2012, we know how amazing the event was, and we understand the vital importance of sponsors to making the Games a success,” says the conservative politician.
Last month, 35 countries signed a joint petition to maintain the embargo imposed on Russia and Belarus over their role in the invasion of Ukraine.
Among the signatories, in addition to the United Kingdom, are France, which will host the Games in 2024, Italy, which will host the Winter Games in 2026, and the United States, which will host the Games in 2028.
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