Europe1 .fr with AFP 17:07 p.m., March 28, 2023The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday recommended the reinstatement of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions under several conditions. The latter must participate under a neutral banner, "individually" and must not have actively supported the Ukraine war.
The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday recommended the reinstatement of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions, under a neutral banner and "in their individual capacity", provided they did not actively support the war in Ukraine.
READ ALSO - OLYMPIC GAMES 2024: price, number, calendar... What you need to know about the second phase of ticket sales
But the organisation's executive board will decide "at the appropriate time" whether to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, which Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries threaten to boycott in the event of a Russian presence, IOC President Thomas Bach told a press conference.
Russia excluded at the end of February 2022
Pressed for weeks to clarify its position, the Olympic body had announced last December "exploring ways" to bring the banned back into the fold of world sport, after recommending their exclusion at the end of February 2022 due to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army, with the support of neighboring Belarus.
The IOC, after four months of consultations with the entire Olympic world, has chosen to leave to the international federations and competition organizers the primary responsibility of inviting or not Russian and Belarusian athletes, contenting itself with "recommendations" to "harmonize their approach".
The question of the 2024 Olympics not yet decided
The executive of the body thus suggests maintaining the exclusion of all Russian and Belarusian teams and limiting the return to competition to athletes "holding a Russian or Belarusian passport" provided that they compete "individually" and under a neutral banner, that they have "not actively supported the war in Ukraine" and are not under contract with the Russian army or the security services.
READ ALSO – "No reason to go back on the exclusion of athletes": countries oppose the participation of Russians in the 2024 Olympics
While the qualifications for the 2024 Olympics have already begun in some disciplines, the IOC did not address on Tuesday the issue of Russian and Belarusian participation in the next Games, explosive in view of the threats of boycott. The Olympic organization will decide "at the appropriate time, at its sole discretion, and without being bound by the results of qualifying competitions for the Olympics," Bach said.