Olympic chiefs recommend return to competition of Russian athletes as individuals

IOC President Thomas Bach reiterated that the sanctions against "those responsible for the war, the Russian and Belarusian states and governments," must remain in place

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during an IOC executive board meeting in Lausanne on Tuesday. — AFP
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during an IOC executive board meeting in Lausanne on Tuesday. — AFP

Published: Tue 28 Mar 2023, 7:17 PM

Olympic chiefs on Tuesday recommended the return to competition of Russian and Belarusian athletes as individuals under a neutral flag with no links to the military.

IOC President Thomas Bach said the IOC had recommended to international federations and international sports event organisers that "athletes with a Russian or a Belarusian passport must compete only as Individual Neutral Athletes".


Among other recommendations, the IOC said "teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport cannot be considered".

Also missing out will be "athletes who actively support the war" as well as "athletes who are contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies".


Bach reiterated that the sanctions against "those responsible for the war, the Russian and Belarusian states and governments", must remain in place.

That means that Russia and Belarus are unable to organise an international sports events on their territory.

Additionally, "no flag, anthem, colours or any other identifications whatsoever of these countries displayed at any sports event or meeting, including the entire venue" and "no Russian and Belarusian government or state official can be invited to or accredited for any international sports event or meeting".

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