Munich, Aug 11 (IANS): The multisport European Championships which started on Thursday are welcoming Ukrainian athletes with open arms while Russiands and Belarusians are not allowed to compete.
The championships in nine Olympic sports until August 21 are bringing together some 4,700 athletes, and Olympiapark managing director Marion Schone said that "we are happy to have Ukrainian athletes in almost every discipline."
Organisers said on Thursday that Ukraine was sending a big team of 161 athletes to the championships in athletics, beach volleyball, canoeing, sports climbing, cycling, gymnastics, rowing, table tennis and triathlon.
They also said that they have awarded the championships media rights free of charge to the Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine.
"It is very important, firstly, that Ukrainian athletes can participate in Munich, and so we are very pleased to be able to provide free-to-air coverage in Ukraine through UA:PBC so that the Ukrainian people, despite very challenging circumstances, may have the possibility to see their national sports stars in action across many sports," a statement said.
Russian and Belarusian athletes are meanwhile not allowed to compete in Munich as the championships followed a recommendation from the International Olympic Committe to ban them in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, reports DPA.
Schone said "it is not fun if you have to exclude athletes" but insisted that "our stance was clear."