IOC confirms participation of some Russian athletes in the Olympic Games

LAUSANNE.- Some Russian athletes will be able to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Gamesreported the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday, in a decision that took off the table the option of an outright ban over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision of IOC confirms the measures that began a year ago to reintegrate Russianow your ally Belarus, within the global sports panorama. It comes nine months after he urged the sport’s governing bodies to find a way to allow individual athletes to participate.

Although the official position of the IOC It was something to be expected, the timing surprised some experts, after reports emerged last week from Paris suggesting that the decision would be announced in March.

It will be the decision of the governing bodies of each Olympic sport to evaluate and exercise neutrality status for individual athletes who have not actively supported the war and They do not have a contract with the armed forces or state security agencies.

There are already classifieds:

He IOC reported that eight Russians and three Belarusians are part of the 4,600 athletes worldwide who have so far achieved qualification for the Olympic Games Of summer. More than 50 Ukrainian athletes have achieved their place so far, and the IOC It is estimated that the country would end up with a delegation of around 150 members.

Russia sent 335 athletes to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where they won 20 gold medals, but it is expected that in Paris there will be only a few dozen, and in individual disciplines. The nation is still banned from participating in team sports.

“Only a fairly limited number of athletes will qualify through the existing (governing body) systems,” he said. IOC it’s a statement.

Athletes who obtain neutral status must compete without an identity, flag, anthem or colors of their country. The International Gymnastics Federation He ordered that they participate in light blue uniforms.

The government and sports authorities of Russia They have often insisted that any restrictions on their athletes are politicized and unacceptable.

Athletes and officials Ukraineincluding the president Volodymyr Zelenskyyhave repeatedly urged the IOC to completely exclude Russia and Belarus of the joust due to the invasion that began in February 2022. Zelenskyy said in January that it was “obvious that any neutral flag for Russian athletes is stained with blood.”

They have said that any Olympic medals the Russians win will be used as propaganda by the state.

Response to the IOC decision:

European allies of Ukraine They have tried to put pressure on the Olympic and sports authorities. The Minister of Sports Sweden pointed out that the decision of the IOC It was “disturbing and very unfortunate.”

“The neutral flag is an illusion and this contributes to normalizing the war of Russian aggression,” the minister wrote. Jakob Forssmed in social networks.

The strictest stance against Russian athletes has been from the governing body of world athletics, that has excluded them from international competitions since the beginning of the invasion.

He IOC and its president Thomas Bach They also called for excluding Russia of sport when the war began, just days after the closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympicsbut then relaxed his stance over the past year as the qualifying events for Paris approached.