Russians and Belarusians will participate with a neutral flag in Paris 2024

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The International Olympic Committee on Friday allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate under a neutral flag at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.team events are excluded and as long as they do not actively support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Until now eleven “neutral individual athletes” are eligible for the competition: eight Russians and three Belarusiansindicated the IOC in a press release, in front of about sixty Ukrainian athletes.

The question is important, because The fear of seeing an absent or very weak Ukrainian delegation in Paris has long worried the Olympic body and would have made the presence of Russian athletes even more politically sensitive, even without an anthem or a flag.

After excluding the Russians and Belarusians from world sport at the end of February 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the IOC reasoned in two stages to organize their return, explaining in many cases that the athletes should not “pay” for actions. government.

Last March, the Olympic organization recommended for the first time that the international federations reinstate the Russians and Belarusians under a neutral flag in its competitions, postponing “until the appropriate moment” its decision on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and the 2026. Games in Milan-Cortina.

The Olympic body took the time to evaluate the evolution of the competitions, which was considered satisfactory in general, and to see the position of the Ukrainian government evolve, which initially instructed its athletes to boycott any event in which the Russians participated before softening its position this year. summer .

Furthermore, if the international federations follow this recommendation in a sporadic way (athletes, in particular, refuse to reintegrate the Russians), the 12th Olympic Summit organized on Tuesday in Lausanne will a clear signal from the world of sport.

Representatives of the international federations, the 206 national Olympic committees and the athletes They called for a “quick” decision to allow the presence in Paris of a small number of Russian and Belarusian athletes which was able to overcome the obstacle of classification.

Source: La Verdad

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