Home » Individual Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete in Paris: IOC

Individual Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete in Paris: IOC

It also said no Russian or Belarusian government or state official would be invited to or accredited for Paris. But athletes, it added, should not be punished for the actions of their governments.

Ukraine has opposed the presence of Russian competitors, even as neutrals, in Paris.

Out of 4600 athletes globally who have qualified for the Olympics so far, eight are Russians and three hold Belarusian passports. More than 60 Ukrainians had qualified.

Athletics maintains ban

The response from World Athletics, the sport’s governing body, on Friday was swift.

Loading

“Our position on Russian participation remains the same and has been very clear from the outset: All athletes, support personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus are excluded from all World Athletics Series events, and from hosting any international or European athletics events,” World Athletics said in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor the situation, but unless there is a major change in circumstances between now and the Olympic Games, this exclusion will apply to Paris 2024.

“It is the IOC’s remit to decide which countries are invited to participate at the Olympic Games, but it is the responsibility of the IFs (international federations) to decide which athletes within their sport are eligible to compete.”

At August’s World Championships in Budapest, World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said it would have been inconceivable for Russians and Belarusians to have competed, saying that the ban was for reasons of integrity.

“This wasn’t about passports or politics,” he said. “The death and destruction we have seen in Ukraine over the past year, including the deaths of some 185 athletes, have only hardened my resolve on this matter. It is an intolerable situation and that’s why I won’t be changing my views anytime soon.”

Loading

Russia’s gymnastics coach, Valentina Rodionenko, played down the significance of the IOC’s decision and hinted that his country would refuse to send individual athletes.

“There is no need to talk about any breakthrough,” Rodionenko was quoted as saying by TASS, a Russian state-owned news agency.

“The IOC, by allowing our athletes to take part in the Olympics, retained the same extremely humiliating conditions that were previously outlined in recommendations to international federations. I believe that we do not need to go to Paris under such conditions.

“As for the gymnasts, we still need to try to qualify through the World Cup stages. I think that it will be very difficult to show a high result. I think the athletes will be forced to perform under great psychological pressure with questionable judging,” she said.

News, results and expert analysis from the weekend of sport sent every Monday. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.