Russian, Belarusian athletes to participate at Paris Olympics as neutrals - IOC

Russian, Belarusian athletes to participate at Paris Olympics as neutrals - IOC
# 08 December 2023 19:01 (UTC +04:00)

Russian and Belarusian athletes who qualify in their sport for the Paris 2024 Olympics can take part as neutrals without flags, emblems or anthems at the event next year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday, APA reports citing Reuters.

The athletes had initially been banned from competing internationally following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year, but have since been gradually allowed back as neutral athletes in most sports.

"The Executive Board (EB) of the IOC has decided that Individual Neutral Athletes (AINs) who have qualified through the existing qualification systems of the International Federations (IFs) on the field of play will be declared eligible to compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in accordance with the conditions outlined below," the Olympic body said in a statement.

"Individual Neutral Athletes are athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport."

The neutral athletes from Russia and Belarus will only compete in individual sports and no teams for the two countries will be allowed to participate in Paris.

The IOC also said athletes who actively support the war in Ukraine will not be eligible while any support personnel who do so will also not be entered.

It said out of 4,600 athletes qualified for the Paris Games so far, eight were Russians and three were Belarusian.

More than 60 Ukrainian athletes had qualified. A total of about 11,000 athletes will take part at the Games next year.