Small defeat for the IOC: low participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in Paris 2024

Small defeat for the IOC: low participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in Paris 2024
Small defeat for the IOC: low participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in Paris 2024

Only 16 athletes from Russia and 17 of Belarus They have accepted the invitation of IOC to participate under a neutral flag in the Paris Olympics (July 26-August 11), which is a lower figure than expected, according to the latest count offered on Tuesday.

The list, which covers disciplines ranging from cycling to swimming and tennis, may still vary depending on possible withdrawals, a spokesman for the Olympic organisation told French news agency AFP.

The IOC has so far recorded 19 refusals from Russia – including athletes who have changed their minds – and 7 from Belarusian ranks, including tennis players. Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenkanumber 3 and 16 in the world respectively.

The four invited Russian judokas declined en masse, as did the wrestlers (although the IOC is keeping Shamil Mamedov’s name among the participants in Paris), whose federation denounced on Saturday the “non-sporting principle of selection”.

The Russian gymnasts had previously announced that they would not be attending the French capital, and the athletes knew they would be ruled out in advance, as the international federation of the king of Olympic sports maintains a total exclusion.

After initially excluding representatives of the two countries from world sport following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Olympic authorities have now orchestrated their gradual return under a neutral flag, with strict conditions, and in no case in team events.

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To be eligible for an invitation to the Games, “Neutral individual athletes” will have to overcome the hurdle of classification, which will be followed by a double check, by international federations and the IOC, for their absence from active support for the war in Ukraine.and of all links with the army of his country.

In March, the IOC estimated that 36 Russians and 22 Belarusians would be in Paris “in the most likely scenario”, compared to the 330 Russians and 104 Belarusians who were at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

They will eventually be fewer in number, and represented only in cycling (3 Russians and 1 Belarusian), trampoline gymnastics (1 Russian and 1 Belarusian), taekwondo (1 Belarusian), weightlifting (2 Belarusians), wrestling (1 Russian if he stays, 2 Belarusians), rowing (2 Belarusians), shooting (2 Belarusians), tennis (7 Russians, including the world No. 5). Daniil Medvedev), canoeing (3 Russians and 2 Belarusians) and swimming (1 Russian and 4 Belarusians).

Deprived of their official colours, replaced by a green flag bearing the letters “AIN”, they will not be able to take part in the parade on the Seine at the opening ceremony, and will not appear on the medal table.

Source: Ambito

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