Politics threatens to spoil Paris 2024 Olympics – POLITICO

Despite the IOC’s ultimate recommendation to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in Paris as neutrals — that is, without a national flag or anthem — the International Gymnastics Federation recently decided not to include any Russian gymnasts on the list of athletes permitted to take part in qualifying competitions for the 2024 Olympics.

The president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, also said in December that Russian and Belarusian athletes will be barred from the Games, even under a neutral banner. Putin, in a fit of pique over the partial snub, suggested he’d set up his own version of the Olympics, hosted in Russia.

Domestic drama

Global conflicts aren’t the only issues keeping organizers up at night, however. Domestic politics is also trampling all over the run-up to the lighting of the Olympic flame on July 26.

The lead-up has also been marked by a police raid over suspicions of fraud, undocumented workers being employed to build competition infrastructure and numerous national controversies, often pitting Macron’s liberal central government against the socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

Hidalgo and former Transport Minister Clément Beaune clashed after the mayor said public transport infrastructures “won’t be ready” in time for the Games. (Beaune himself, not mincing his words, had earlier admitted the Olympics would suck for Parisians.)

Now, both transport workers and police unions are threatening to strike if they don’t get raises and better working conditions, which would almost certainly bring chaos to the city.

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