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International Sports Organizations Respond to IOC’s Call for Neutrality in Russian and Belarusian Athletes’ Participation in Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Athletes from Russia and ally Belarus were banned from international competitions after the start of the military attack on Ukraine last February. This spring, however, the IOC called on international organizations to allow athletes from these countries to return to competitions in which they could meet the qualifying conditions for the start in Paris, under the conditions of maintaining neutrality. A number of sports associations responded to this challenge.

The condition for the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games in Paris is their strict neutrality and no ties to the military. The start of teams is also excluded.

“Representatives of international summer sports federations have called on the IOC to approve participation in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games for those individual neutral athletes who have qualified or are qualifying. They also requested that the decision be made as soon as possible and bring clarity to the entire qualification process,” the IOC said in a statement.

According to sports leaders, not even the anti-doping issue stands in the way of the Russians’ Olympic participation. This year, Russian athletes have already undergone 10,500 tests.

This September, the International Paralympic Committee spoke in favor of the participation of the Russians under the neural flag in Paris. His verdict was seen as a harbinger of the IOC’s decision.

Today, the Olympic summit also condemned Russia’s plans to hold the so-called “Friendship Games” in Moscow and Yekaterinburg next September. According to sports leaders, this multi-sport event is “obviously politically motivated” and its results should not be officially recognized.

The Olympic summit was attended, among others, by IOC President Thomas Bach and his vice-presidents, heads of major sports federations Sebastian Coe (athletics), Husajn Musallám (swimming), Luc Tardif (ice hockey) and Morinari Watanabe (gymnastics) or heads of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC ) Robin Mitchell and Association of International Summer Olympic Sports Federations (ASIF) Francesco Ricci Bitti.

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