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IOC opens doors for Russian athletes at Paris 2024

Athletes cannot compete under the Russian flag

Athletes from Russia and Belarus may be free to compete as neutrals at the 2024 Olympics after the International Olympic Committee said it would “explore avenues” for participation.

The IOC has asked federations to exclude athletes from their countries following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this week that Russian athletes should “have no place” at the Paris Olympics.

But Wednesday’s IOC statement could pave the way for their return.

“No athlete should be barred from competing because of their passport,” he said.

The move was criticized in a joint statement by Athletes for Ukraine and the Athletes Association Global Athletes.

He said the decision showed the IOC “supports Russia’s brutal war and invasion of Ukraine”.

“With the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions, especially the 2024 Paris Olympics, the Russian state will once again use athletes to step up its war effort and fight against Ukrainian atrocities on one of the largest multi-sport stages in Ukraine. Distract. world,” the statement added.

The IOC said that to participate in competitions, including qualifying events, athletes must participate as neutrals and “must not represent any other entity in their state or country.”

Athletes must not “act contrary to the IOC’s mission to peace by actively supporting the war in Ukraine.”

Chairman Thomas Bach said last December, The IOC faced a “huge dilemma” in ensuring athletes did not suffer as a result of sports sanctions..

While some sports federations ignored the IOC’s recommendations and allowed individual athletes to compete as neutrals, others followed suit.

Belarusian tennis players Victoria Azarenka and Alina Sabalenka. They could face each other in this weekend’s Australian Open women’s singles final.Both are competing as neutral.

Lawn Tennis Association fined £820,000 For banning Russian and Belarusian players from last summer’s grass-court events, including Wimbledon.

The British government says Belarus supported and abetted the Russian invasion.

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