If our athletes and those from the self-proclaimed state of Kosovo meet on a podium, “they will have to stay there,” says Bozidar Maljkovic.
The president of the Olympic Committee of Serbia has taken a firm stance on this, and “will not back down from it even at the price of being sacked.”
“If the state leadership doesn’t like it, let them replace me. If anyone in the state is against it, they will have to chase me out. We do not recognize Kosovo, it’s clear to everyone, but when athletes win medals, they must go to the podium, regardless of who else is on that same podium,” Maljkovic told the weekly Nedeljnik.
He cited the case with the recent Youth Olympics in Gyor as an example.
“I was at that Olympics and Djordje Visacki tells me – Bozo (Bozidar), we could have a big problem, which is that a judo competitor from Kosovo might find herself on the podium with our competitor. The decision of the government of Serbia is to send to the president of the International Olympic Committee a letter (stating) that we do not recognize Kosovo. And we did it,” he said, adding:
“But if it happened in any Olympic sport that athletes from Serbia and Kosovo find themselves on the podium – my position is firm and determined that we should be on that podium. There is no leaving the podium. It did not happen in Gyor, but in future, if it does happen – because I am such a man and in the spirit of the Olympics, justice, sports, and ideas – no Serb athletes should leave the podium. ”