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Oleksandr Usyk tells IOC not to let Russia compete at Paris Olympics

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Oleksandr Usyk said any medals Russia win would be ‘medals of blood’ (Picture: Reuters)

Heavyweight boxing world champion Oleksandr Usyk has urged the International Olympic Committee not to allow Russian athletes to compete in Paris next year – even as neutrals – saying any medals they win will be ‘medals of blood’.

Ukrainian star Usyk’s comments came as the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, made clear she does not want a Russian delegation at the 2024 Games while the war goes on.

In a direct video message to IOC president Thomas Bach on Instagram, Usyk said: ‘You want to allow Russian athletes to compete at the Olympics.

‘Russian Armed Forces invaded our country and kill civilians. Russian army is killing Ukrainian athletes and coaches and destroying sports grounds as well as sports halls.

‘The medals that Russian athletes are going to win are medals of blood, death and tears.’

The IOC has been working with international sports federations and national Olympic committees to develop a pathway enabling Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals under strict conditions.

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