The head of the International Olympic Committee granted individual athletes from both countries permission to compete in the 2024 Summer Games on Friday under certain conditions, provided they meet the qualification conditions. Teams are not permitted.
In doing so, the IOC followed a call from the international summer sports associations and the National Olympic Committees to finally make a decision on this question, which has been controversial since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
As with the return to international competitions, the condition is that Russians and Belarusians are only allowed to take part in Paris under a neutral flag. The national anthem is not allowed to be played for participants from Russia and Belarus, and national symbols and flags are also prohibited.
No connection to the army
In addition, these athletes must not have any connection to the army and security organs and must not have actively shown their support for the war in Ukraine. In addition, the anti-doping guidelines must be met. As an additional requirement, the IOC requires all athletes to make a written commitment to the Olympic Charter and thus also to the “peace mission of the Olympic Movement”.
According to the IOC, eight Russians and three Belarusians have so far qualified for the Olympics in Paris. It was said that more than 60 Ukrainians were among the approximately 4,600 athletes already eligible to take part.
After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Russians and Belarusians were initially excluded from international sports competitions. Belarus supports Russia in the conflict. Already in the spring, the IOC led by German President Thomas Bach opened the door to the major sports stages for both countries and set the framework for participation in competitions.
Summer games are also possible again
This should also enable athletes to meet the qualification criteria for the Summer Games. In recent months, a number of world associations have followed the IOC’s guidelines and allowed Russians and Belarusians back in.
However, the umbrella organization left the decision about participation in the Olympics open until the end. In September, the International Paralympic Committee also lifted its complete ban against Russia and allowed Russian disabled athletes to compete at the Paralympics in Paris under a neutral flag. This was already seen as a harbinger of a corresponding decision by the IOC.
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