Lausanne, Dec 8 (IANS) The Executive Board of the International Olympic Council (IOC) on Friday approved the participation of sportspersons from the suspended Russia and Belarus in the Olympic Games in Paris next year as Individual Neutral Athletes (AINs) with strict eligibility conditions in place.
The IOC Executive Board has decided that Individual Neutral Athletes (AINs) who have qualified through the existing qualification systems of the International Federations (IFs) on the field of play will be declared eligible to compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 by the conditions decided by the IOC.
"Individual Neutral Athletes are athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport. The strict eligibility conditions based on the recommendations issued by the IOC EB on 28 March 2023 for International Federations and international sports event organisers will be applied," the IOC
Like all the other athletes at the Olympic Games, the Individual Neutral Athletes will also have to comply with the rules and regulations applicable at the Olympic Games, including anti-doping.
"Like all the other athletes, they will also have to sign the updated Conditions of Participation applicable for Paris 2024. This contains a commitment to respect the Olympic Charter, including “the peace mission of the Olympic Movement”," the IOC said on Friday.
The Individual Neutral Athletes will be invited by the IOC and their respective IFs. Only a very limited number of athletes will qualify through the existing qualification systems of the IFs.
Among the 4,600 athletes from around the world who have qualified for Paris 2024 so far, there are only 11 Individual Neutral Athletes (eight with a Russian passport plus three with a Belarusian passport). In comparison, to date, more than 60 Ukrainian athletes have qualified for Paris 2024. It is expected that the Ukrainian delegation is going to be around the same size as at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
The strict eligibility conditions for Individual Neutral Athletes at Paris 2024 include the condition that no flag, anthem, colours or any other identifications whatsoever of Russia or Belarus will be displayed at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in any official venue or any official function.
Qualified athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport will be entered as, and compete as, Individual Neutral Athletes (AINs) while teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport will not be considered.
Athletes who actively support the war will not be eligible to be entered or to compete. Support personnel who actively support the war will not be entered.
Athletes, who are contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies will not be eligible to be entered or to compete. Support personnel who are contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies will not be entered.
Any such Individual Neutral Athlete, like all the other participating athletes, will have to meet all anti-doping requirements applicable to them in the lead-up to and at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, and particularly those set out in the anti-doping rules of the IFs.
The sanctions against those responsible for the war, the Russian and Belarusian states and governments, remain in place for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. This means that no Russian or Belarusian government or state officials will be invited to or accredited for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
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