As many as 72.6 percent of Poles believe Russians and Belarusians should not be allowed to compete during the Summer Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, according to a poll by the Institute for Economic and Social Research (IBRIS) for Rzeczpospolita daily.
Currently, the International Olympic Committee is considering the admission of athletes from both Russia and Belarus as “neutral” contestants.
As many as 63.5 percent of respondents in Poland strongly disagree with this decision, 9.1 percent rather disagree, and 8.5 percent rather agree. Another 6.7 percent of respondents strongly support Russian and Belarusian participation in the Olympics, while 12.2 percent have no opinion on the matter.
The highest number of opponents of Russian and Belarusian participation in the Olympics are among the supporters of the ruling United Right and those with unspecified political views: 91 and 94 percent, respectively, while among supporters of the Polish opposition, 76 percent are against.
This opinion is represented mostly by men (75 percent), those aged between 50 and 59 years (81 percent), those over 70 years of age (82 percent), and inhabitants of large cities with a population of more than 250,000 (84 percent). The majority of those against Russia’s participation have a secondary education (86 percent) or higher (68 percent).
Poland has stated it will seriously consider boycotting the Olympics if the IOC does not ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in Paris next year.
“If the International Olympic Committee does not yield, does not back down from this bad decision, we need to be ready to push the button on the whole matter,” said Kamil Bortniczuk.
“This ultimatum is our last resort, but we will pose it if there is no other way. I think that there is time, so we should give the IOC a chance for self-reflection,” he added.