RIGA - It is still unclear whether Latvian athletes will take part in the Paris Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes also compete, but the whole world is still waiting for Ukraine's decision on this issue, Education and Science Minister Anda Caksa (New Unity) said in an interview with commercial TV3 television.
Asked when there would be clarity on the participation of Latvian athletes in the Olympics, she replied that it was "a very long and complicated story". Although the decision can be taken only a day before the games, in this case it will not be a political decision.
"In my view, athletes who have been aiming for the Olympics all their lives should participate in the games," said Caksa, adding that she and other Latvian politicians have done a lot to ensure that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the upcoming Olympics, even if they compete in a neutral capacity.
Caksa stressed that she believes Latvian athletes should participate in the Paris Olympics because they should not be allowed to suffer from this situation. At the same time, Latvia should express a political opinion on the matter, according to the minister.
The politician added bitterly that "the Olympics have always been about fair play and a fair situation, which is not in the big picture at the moment".
Asked whether Latvia still had any manoeuvres or techniques under the sleeve to ensure that the IOC does not allow athletes from aggressor countries to participate in the Olympics, Caksa replied that at the moment, in fact, all available instruments had already been used.
As reported, the IOC has decided to allow athletes from the aggressor countries Russia and Belarus, to participate in the Paris Olympics in a neutral status, but Latvia wants to ensure that athletes from these countries are denied participation in the Olympics altogether. Several Latvian athletes have announced that they will not compete in the Olympics with athletes from the aggressor countries.
Latvia has not yet decided how to proceed if the IOC does not reverse its decision, but Ukraine's position on the matter is awaited before a final decision is taken.