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“Road for return of Russian, Belarusian athletes should be explored,” says IOC

Last updated: January 26, 2023, 1:06 AM IST

International Olympic Committee

International Olympic Committee

The question of the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes is already being raised and the International Olympic Association believes that avenues should be explored for athletes from the two countries to participate in the quadrennial event.

Ignoring calls by Ukraine to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from next year’s Summer Olympics in Paris, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday that a path for their athletes’ participation “should be further explored”.

While most international federations followed the IOC’s recommendation in February to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the question is already being raised about their participation in the 2024 Games.

READ ALSO| ‘Russian athletes should have no place in the Olympics,’ insists Ukraine Prez Volodymyr Zelensky

The IOC has previously described the issue as a “great dilemma” that had been politicized by individual governments stepping in to block it.

“No athlete should be prevented from competing solely because of their passport,” the IOC said in a press release on Wednesday.

“A trajectory for the participation of athletes in competitions under strict conditions must therefore be further investigated.

The IOC also said that “the vast majority of participants in each of the consultation calls” supported the body examining the eventual reintegration of athletes from Russia and Belarus… “with each international federation being the sole authority for its international competitions .”

In addition, the IOC “welcomed and appreciated” the offer of the Olympic Council of Asia to admit Russian and Belarusian athletes to qualifying events for Paris 2024.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and was published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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