The organizers of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris have said they will follow the decisions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions. This was reported on February 2 by Reuters.
On January 25, the IOC announced that the committee is considering the possibility of admitting Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions in a neutral status, who do not support the conduct of a special military operation in Ukraine.
“As for the presence of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Paris 2024 Games, it should be recalled that the qualification system is determined by the IOC, IPC (International Paralympic Committee) and international federations,” said representatives of the Organizing Committee of the 2024 Summer Olympics.
They also noted that they want “the competition to be held in the spirit of peace and respect for the values of brotherhood and solidarity.”
On January 29, the IOC announced that the committee considers the concept of Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under a neutral flag successful. This was stated in responses to two special rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council, who said that the committee’s current recommendations were of “grave concern.”
Earlier, on January 27, IOC President Thomas Bach said that athletes from Russia and Belarus could participate in the 2024 Summer Olympics under a neutral flag. He stressed that the boycott of Ukraine, which was threatened by the Minister of Youth and Sports Vadym Gutzeit, does not correspond to the committee’s mission.
His statement was criticized by Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.
On January 26, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for the Russians to be allowed to the Olympic Games in 2024, but under a neutral flag. According to her, athletes should not be deprived of competition. Hidalgo stressed that this opinion is now shared by most of the sports community. The mayor hopes that by the time the Olympics begin, the conflict in Ukraine will be over.
Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, in turn, noted that there is too much politics in the IOC statement of January 25 on the admission of Russians to international competitions.
On February 28, 2022, the IOC recommended that international sports federations prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in international competitions due to the situation around the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
The next Summer Olympic Games will be held in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024.