Sergiy Stakhovsky: Ukraine’s Voice Against IOC’s Decision


Former tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky, now a part of Ukraine’s reserve army, passionately condemns the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to permit Russian athletes to compete as neutrals in the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games. Speaking from an undisclosed location in Ukraine, Stakhovsky voiced grave concerns about the toll of the conflict on Ukraine’s future in sports and criticized the stance of Russian athletes amidst the ongoing crisis.

Ukraine’s Sports Future in Peril

Stakhovsky expressed deep distress about the impact of the conflict on Ukraine’s sporting prowess, lamenting that the nation may face long-term repercussions. He emphasized that each Ukrainian athlete participating in global events like the Olympics is cherished as a beacon of hope amid the turmoil, potentially representing the last vestiges of Ukraine’s sporting glory.

Athletes as Symbols of Hope

With a somber acknowledgment of the lives lost in the conflict, including athletes, Stakhovsky underscored the significance of each Ukrainian athlete competing on the global stage. Their participation not only showcases sporting prowess but also symbolizes resilience and national pride amidst adversity.

Calls for Russian Athletes’ Condemnation

While acknowledging some Russian athletes’ vocal opposition to the war, Stakhovsky urged more prominent condemnation from the Russian sporting community against the invasion. He cited instances of Andrey Rublev and Daria Kasatkina speaking out, urging a collective, louder stance from Russian athletes against the conflict’s atrocities.

Pushing for Accountability and Advocacy

Stakhovsky’s call for presenting evidence against athletes associated with the conflict to prevent their participation emphasizes the need for accountability and advocacy within the sports realm. This advocacy seeks to ensure that global sporting events do not inadvertently serve as platforms for individuals with affiliations that conflict with ethical and moral standards.

Critique of IOC’s Decision

Stakhovsky strongly criticized the IOC’s decision to allow Russian athletes to compete under neutral flags, emphasizing the need for stringent measures against athletes associated with the Russian government’s actions. He labeled the IOC’s stance as an “absolute joke,” expressing frustration over what he perceives as athletes trying to evade taking a stand due to fears for their safety and maintaining fan support within Russia.

Advocating for Action

Stakhovsky called for presenting evidence to the Olympic committee against athletes associated with the conflict, hoping for a more stringent approach in disallowing their participation in global sporting events. He highlighted the need for athletes’ proactive support and evidence presentation to push for a more decisive stance from international sports bodies.


Sergiy Stakhovsky’s impassioned critique highlights the intersection of sports, geopolitics, and ethics amidst conflict. His call for athletes’ accountability and greater condemnation against the war aims to ensure that global sporting events do not inadvertently provide a platform for individuals associated with conflict or geopolitical controversies.

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