Russian and Belarusian athletes allowed to compete in the Paris Olympics

Athletes allowed to take part as neutrals despite ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russian and Belarusian athletes will be able to complete as neutrals at next summer’s Olympics in Paris, the International Olympic Committee has announced.

The IOC said on Tuesday that sporting federations had requested a decision “as soon as possible” amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

IOC president Thomas Bach last week indicated that a final call on the matter would come at an IOC executive board meeting in March next year.

The announcement published on Tuesday said federations had noted that athletes from those countries had competed under strict conditions of neutrality in their qualifying events “largely without incident”.


And in a release on Friday the IOC confirmed its decision.

A statement read: “The executive board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided that individual neutral athletes (AINs) who have qualified through the existing qualification systems of the international federations (IFs) on the field of play will be declared eligible to compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in accordance with the conditions outlined.

“Individual neutral athletes are athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport. The strict eligibility conditions based on the recommendations issued by the IOC EB on March 28th, 2023 for international federations and international sports event organisers will be applied.”

In March the IOC published criteria under which global sports federations may consider readmitting athletes from Russia and Belarus.

The recommendations said only individual athletes from those countries should be allowed to compete – not teams.

Athletes and support personnel who actively support the war in Ukraine must also remain barred, as must any athlete or support staff member contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or security agencies.

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