Heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk recently took to his social media account to post a direct message to IOC president Thomas Bach, making it clear that he does not believe the organization should allow Russian fighters to compete in next years Olympic games in Paris, not even under a neutral banner as has been proposed by some.
As Usyk states it, anything Russian fighters would win would only be stained by its country’s ongoing war with Ukraine.
“I am a Ukrainian athlete, I won an Olympic gold in boxing in 2012, I am the current world heavyweight champion and my name is Oleksandr Usyk.
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. Let me wish you to have peaceful sky above you and to be in good health and happy.”
It remains to be seen how exactly this situation will be handled going forward, but we’ll keep you posted with updates as more information becomes available.