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Maria Butina: the issue of the participation of Russian athletes in the 2024 Olympics should be discussed with the people

State Duma deputy Maria Butina shared her opinion on the issue of the possible participation of Russian athletes in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris under a neutral flag on Sputnik radio.

IOC President Thomas Bach has previously said that Russian and Belarusian athletes could probably take part in the 2024 Olympics in Paris under a neutral flag. Then the IOC Executive Committee called for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions in a neutral status, proposing not to allow athletes who approved of the special operation in Ukraine.

“This medal has two sides. <...> I understand the athletes, I understand their position – the opportunity to participate in international competitions is important for them, because people invest their whole lives in being prepared for a certain event, especially for the Olympic Games. Each athlete has a peak of form, and, in fact, in a lifetime there are only a few chances to declare themselves at such a significant event as the Olympic Games,” Butina said.

But there should also be a very clear state position, the deputy believes. “As long as we retreat as a state and say: “Let’s make concessions. Do you want us to perform without a flag? So be it, we will perform without a flag, “then tomorrow we will be told:” We want you to perform in masks so that no one sees your Slavic faces. And what, we will perform in masks? Then they will tell us that points will be immediately taken off for the performance of our athletes, because “we are punished.” The issue of concessions is always progressive,” said Maria Butina.

Therefore, it is necessary to know the opinion of fellow citizens on this issue.

“Here it is important to ask people, our citizens, how they look at this. By the way, they are direct participants in the education of Olympic athletes, because each of us is actually a taxpayer. Sports always start with free school sections, it goes from there. The state pays for the trips of athletes, their participation in competitions. Therefore, I think it makes sense to ask the people themselves what they think about this. <...> We will conduct a survey in the end, it can be done,” the deputy concluded.

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