The 2024 Paris International Olympics are right around the corner, and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky wants Russian athletes banned from competing. According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Russian and Belarusian athletes may be allowed to join the games under a neutral flag. Their countries’ anthems, flags, and colors would be banned. In a recorded speech, USA Today reported that Zelensky said Friday, “There is no such thing as neutrality when a war like this is going on, and we know how often tyrannies try to use sports for their ideological interests.” Zelensky said he was disappointed in the Committee’s decision. “It is obvious that any neutral flag of Russian athletes is stained with blood.” [tweet_embed]February 01, 2023[/tweet_embed] The IOC is between a rock and a hard place. On one side, the Ukrainian President makes his case; on the other hand, the United Nations Human Rights Council cites “serious issues of non-discrimination.” The IOC made a statement Sunday indicating it is exploring how Russian athletes can compete. The statement pledged a “full and unwavering commitment to solidarity with the Ukrainian athletes.” one condition it imposed was that Russian athletes could not have actively supported Russia’s war against Ukraine. Although the IOC condemned and sanctioned Russia when it invaded Ukraine in 2022, it is now intent on punishing the Russian government without its athletes being punished. Zelensky does not see it that way. He said that allowing Russians to compete “are attempts to tell the whole world that terror is somehow acceptable.” The Ukrainian President has the support of the UK, which also believes Russian and Belarusian athletes should not have the right to compete in the Paris games. According to USA Today, Zelensky invited Thomas Bach, IOC President, to a war-torn city in the Donbas region of Ukraine to “see with his own eyes that neutrality does not exist.” A spokesperson for the IOC did not indicate whether Bach would accept Zelensky’s offer. The Post Millennial reported that action taken against Russia previously by the IOC included stripping Russian athletes of 43 Olympic medals after discovering they had used performance-enhancing drugs provided by their government. The IOC’s anti-doping policy violation has kept Russian athletes from entering many international competitions. Because of the doping incident, Russian athletes are barred from competing under their own flag. In the past, the IOC banned various countries' athletes from competing, while others could not compete because their countries were boycotting the games.