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Germany warns of ‘warmonger Putin’ pushing propaganda at Paris Olympics

Germany warns of ‘warmonger Putin’ pushing propaganda at Paris Olympics

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Germany’s sports minister, Nancy Faeser, has called on the International Olympic Committee to examine “very carefully” the backgrounds of Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Faeser’s comments came a day after the IOC, headed by Germany’s Thomas Bach, announced that Russians and Belarusians would be able to compete in Paris as neutrals outside of team events, provided they did not actively support the war against Ukraine.

But Faeser, who is also Germany’s interior minister, said that it was important the IOC examine their backgrounds and exclude any athletes found to support President Vladimir Putin’s war, or have any connection to the Russian government or military.

“The warmonger Putin must under no circumstances use the Olympic Games in Paris for his propaganda,” said Faeser, in a statement sent to POLITICO.

In March, the IOC recommended that international sports could reinstate Russian and Belarusian athletes as individuals, under a neutral banner, as long as they had not supported the war and that they were not under contract with either the army or national security agencies.

According to the IOC, 11 athletes — eight Russians and three Belarusians — have so far qualified for Paris 2024.

Faeser said Russian teams being excluded and flags and symbols banned was “the absolute minimum we could expect from the International Olympic Committee.”

“It would be completely unacceptable for Ukrainian athletes to have to compete against Russians who support the Russian war of aggression against their country,” she added. “Ukraine — and Ukrainian sport — must continue to enjoy the full support and solidarity of world sport.”

Hans von der Burchard contributed reporting.

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