IOC recommends Russian and Belarusian individual athletes compete as neutrals

The International Olympic Committee has recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete under a neutral flag – but has yet to make a decision on Paris 2024, the BBC reports.

This recommendation only extends to individual athletes, not teams.

The IOC’s executive board has also told international federations and event organizers that athletes and support personnel who actively support the war in Ukraine, or who are contracted to the military, should not be permitted to compete.

Regarding next year’s Olympics in Paris and the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics in 2026, the IOC said it would take a decision “at the appropriate time.”

It added it would “closely monitor the full implementation” of its recommendations, with compliance being an “important factor” in its future decision on the upcoming summer and winter Games.

“Participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in international competitions works,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.

“We see this almost every day in a number of sports, most prominently in tennis but also in cycling, in some table tennis competitions.

“We see it in ice hockey, handball, we see it in football and in other leagues in the United States but also in Europe and we also see it in other continents.

“In none of these competition security incidents have been happening.”

On Tuesday the IOC noted that in its deliberations the “70 other ongoing armed conflicts and wars” globally were considered, adding that the national Olympic committees in those affected areas were not requesting any exclusion of athletes.

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