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


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has presented a multi-stage plan for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the upcoming 2024 Summer Games in Paris and the 2026 Winter Games in Milan.

“No athlete should be prevented from competing solely because of their passport,” the IOC Executive Board said.

The IOC said it would continue its sanctions against Russian and Belarusian state and government officials and ban sporting events organized by the two countries’ federations.

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

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

For Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete, they would present themselves as “neutral athletes and in no way represent their state or any other organization in their country”, the IOC said.

“No flag, anthem, colors or other identification of these countries is displayed at any sporting event or meeting, including throughout the venue.”

A joint statement by athletes’ rights group Global Athlete and Ukrainian athletes said the IOC’s plan to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the next Olympics only strengthens “the Russian propaganda machine”.

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