The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that athletes from Russia and Belarus be admitted to the competition in a neutral status. The decision was made on Tuesday at a meeting of the executive committee of the organization in Lausanne.
Russian and Belarusian athletes may be admitted to tournaments under the following conditions:
they must perform in a neutral status, without using the flags, anthems and symbols of their countries;
they must perform individually, without admission to team competitions;
athletes should not support the invasion of Ukraine;
athletes should not be representatives of the armed forces or law enforcement agencies.
It will not be possible to carry Russian flags or any other symbols related to the country to competitions involving such athletes. Athletes will represent themselves at the competition, not a country.
These recommendations do not apply to the 2024 Paris and 2026 Milan Olympic Games, which will be decided later.
Many Russian and Belarusian Olympic athletes are formally law enforcement officers or military personnel of their countries. Among them are leading Russian athletes - figure skater Oleksandra Trusova, skiers Oleksandr Velunov and Oleksiy Chervotkin, biathlete Eduard Latypov, high jumper Maria Lasitskene, Sports.ru lists.
Russian and Belarusian athletes were suspended from international competition in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In January 2023, the IOC offered to allow them to compete if they did not speak out in favor of the war in Ukraine and do not use doping.
In February 2023, 35 countries, including Great Britain, said they still supported the removal of athletes from Russia and Belarus. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi also called for Russians to be barred from the Olympics, saying that he believes that their mere presence will be a "manifestation of violence and lawlessness."
In December 2022, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committees and IOC President Thomas Bach spoke in favor of the admission of Russians and Belarusians to the 2024 Olympics under neutral flags.