IOC clears path for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in upcoming Olympic Games



The International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined a multi-step plan for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate at the upcoming 2024 Summer Games in Paris and the 2026 Winter Games in Milan.

“No athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport,” the IOC’s executive board declared.

The IOC said it would continue its sanctions against Russian and Belarusian state and government officials and prohibit sporting events organized by both country’s federations.

The organization said its board had met and “unanimously reaffirmed and called for a reinforcement of the sanctions already in place.”

The IOC said it would recommit and strengthen the organization’s “solidarity with the Ukrainian athletes and the Ukrainian Olympic community” and would support Ukraine’s effort to field a strong team at the Paris and Milan Games.

In order for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete, they would represent as “neutral athletes and in no way represent their state or any other organisation in their country,” the IOC said.

“No flag, anthem, colours or any other identifications whatsoever of these countries being displayed at any sports event or meeting, including the entire venue.”

A joint statement from the athletes’ rights group Global Athlete and Ukrainian Athletes said that IOC’s plan to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate at upcoming Olympic Games only strengthens “Russia’s propaganda machine.”

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