Russian, Belarusian athletes to compete at 2024 Olympics as neutrals

Russian and Belarusian athletes who have qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics will be allowed to participate as neutrals, the International Olympic Committee has confirmed.

The conditions of their inclusion include competing without flags, emblems or anthems of their country.

Athletes from those nations were banned following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Letting individuals take part was about “respecting human rights” the IOC said.

Ukraine had threatened to boycott the Games if the ban was not upheld but Ukraine’s sports minister Vadym Huttsait told Reuters in July it could drop that threat if Russian and Belarusian athletes were made to compete under a neutral flag.

Friday’s decision comes after Olympic sports federations asked the IOC to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals in Paris earlier this week.

However, World Athletics said its position remains unchanged, with athletes, support personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus remaining excluded “from all World Athletics Series events”.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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