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Russian, Belarusian athletes to take part at 2024 Paris Olympics as neutrals

The Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) says Russian and Belarusian athletes who qualify of their sport for the 2024 Paris Video games can participate as neutrals with out flags, emblems or anthems on the occasion subsequent yr.

Russians and Belarusians had initially been banned from competing internationally following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final yr, for which Belarus has been used as a staging floor.

In March, nevertheless, the IOC issued a primary set of suggestions for worldwide sports activities federations to permit Russian and Belarusian rivals to return they usually have since achieved so in most occasions.

Athletics, arguably the most important Olympic sport, is unlikely to open the door for both nation to return to competitors, nevertheless, after banning them following the invasion and sticking to this stance on Friday.

Ukraine’s Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned what he stated was a “shameful” IOC determination, whereas Russia’s Sports activities Minister Oleg Matytsin referred to as the situations set by the IOC for Russian athletes’ participation on the Olympics “discriminatory”.

“The Government Board (EB) of the IOC has determined that Particular person Impartial Athletes (AINs) who’ve certified by the prevailing qualification techniques of the Worldwide Federations (IFs) on the sphere of play will probably be declared eligible to compete on the Olympic Video games Paris 2024,” the IOC stated in a press release.

“Particular person Impartial Athletes are athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport.”

The impartial athletes will solely compete in particular person sports activities and no groups for the 2 international locations will probably be allowed.

Athletes who actively assist the warfare in Ukraine usually are not eligible, nor are these contracted to the Russian or Belarusian navy.

The IOC additionally stated no Russian or Belarusian authorities or state official can be invited to or accredited for Paris 2024.

However athletes, it added, shouldn’t be punished for the actions of their governments.

Whereas Paris Video games organisers “took notice” of the IOC determination, it drew indignant responses from Ukraine and Russia.

“The IOC primarily gave Russia the inexperienced gentle to weaponise the Olympics,” Ukraine’s international minister Kuleba wrote on X (previously Twitter).

“As a result of the Kremlin will use each Russian and Belarusian athlete as a weapon in its propaganda warfare. I urge all companions to strongly condemn this shameful determination, which undermines Olympic ideas.”

Ukraine’s performing Sports activities Minister Matviy Bidnyy stated his nation’s participation on the Paris Video games can be determined after talks with the political and sports activities management.

“Concerning Ukraine’s participation within the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Video games, we are going to decide later, after consulting with the Ukrainian sports activities neighborhood and the nation’s prime political management,” Bidnyy stated.


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