Olympic chiefs have urged the British authorities to respect the “autonomy of sport” after an try to foyer sponsors towards a proposed pathway for Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part at subsequent yr’s Paris Games.
Britain’s Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer final week wrote a letter to 13 of the largest Olympic sponsors, urging them to place stress on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to desert its proposal.
“It is not up to governments to decide which athletes can participate in which international competitions. This would be the end of world sport as we know it today,” the IOC mentioned on Monday.
“We hope very much that the British government will respect the autonomy of sport …
“It must be the sole responsibility of sports organisations to decide which athletes can take part in international competitions based exclusively on their sporting merit.
“In accordance with this, Olympic sponsors are not involved in this decision-making process.”
The IOC issued sanctions towards Russia and Belarus after final yr’s invasion of Ukraine however is reluctant to exclude their athletes from the Olympics fully for worry of a return to the boycotts of the Cold War period.
They set out a pathway in January for rivals from Russia and its ally Belarus to earn Olympic slots via Asian qualifying and to compete as impartial athletes in Paris.
Neutral athletes will not be thought-about to be representing their nations and their successes will not be accompanied by the flying of flags or enjoying of nationwide anthems.
The British authorities issued a joint assertion final month with 34 different nations reiterating a name on the IOC to concern a blanket ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from its competitions.
Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Paris Olympics if athletes from Russia and Belarus compete.