The initially planned participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in the Asian Games will not come about. In the run-up to the multi-sport event in September in Hangzhou, China, the portal insidethegames reported on Saturday (09/02/23) about a corresponding decision.
The concept of integration was “examined, but cannot be implemented for technical reasons,” according to a statement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). At its general assembly in Bangkok in July, the Asian Olympic Council (OCA) voted in favor of admitting a total of 500 athletes from the two countries.
IOC recommendation for inclusion is controversial
At the request of insidethegames, an OCA spokesman announced that there would be “no Russian and Belarusian athletes” at the event. The plan envisaged that the affected athletes compete in China as neutrals without any identification of their origin. All results should only serve to maintain their chances of participating in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and should not be taken into account in the medal table.
As early as December 2022, the OCA proposed such integration of Russia and its ally Belarus into the Asian Games at the IOC Olympic Summit. Since the war of aggression against Ukraine, both nations have been largely isolated in world sport. In spring 2023, the IOC issued a highly controversial “recommendation” for the reintegration of Russia and Belarus.