Olympic boycott could render the Games 'pointless' if Russian athletes compete, says Polish minister

    The IOC announced that Paris would host the 2024 Olympics in September 2017.

    (CNN)Allowing athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete at the Paris Olympics could lead to a large-scale boycott and render the Games "pointless," Poland's sports minister said on Thursday.

    The remarks come after Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of advancing special exemptions allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the Games.
    In a joint statement, sports minsters from the four nations said such actions would enable sport "to be used to legitimize and distract attention from Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine."
      Last week, the IOC outlined a multi-step plan for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate at the Paris Olympics and the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan, arguing that "no athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport."
        Kamil Bortniczuk, Poland's Minister of Sport and Tourism, told Reuters: "I'm convinced that a meeting that is planned for February 10 will reach a conclusion of over 30 or maybe 40 sports ministers -- including those from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan -- to decisively reject the idea to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to take part in the Games.
        "Considering this, I don't think we will face tough decisions before the Olympics and, if we were to boycott the Games, the coalition we will be a part of will be broad enough to make holding the Games pointless."
        Kamil Bortniczuk speaks at his office in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday.