IOC to decide on Russian participation at Paris Olympics at 'appropriate time'
The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) executive board has recommended the return to competition of Russian and Belarusian athletes as individual neutrals, but has yet to decide whether they can compete at next year's Paris Olympics.
That decision will be taken "at the appropriate time," IOC President Thomas Bach said after the first-day meeting of the IOC executive board on Tuesday.
The IOC released six recommendations to International Federations (IFs) and international sports event organizers that allow athletes with Russian or Belarusian passports to compete as individual neutral athletes.
"The IOC EB confirmed that these recommendations do not concern the participation of athletes and their support personnel with a Russian or Belarusian passport at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 or the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026. The IOC will take this decision at the appropriate time, at its full discretion, and without being bound by the results of previous Olympic qualification competitions," read an IOC press release.
Bach gave no specific answer to when or how the final decision would be made, only saying the IOC will "monitor the implementation of these recommendations" and make the decision at "proper time".
"The results of this monitoring procedure will be an important factor in the decision by the IOC concerning the participation of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026," IOC said.
According to the recommendations, "teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport cannot be considered", which means Russian and Belarusian athletes are unlikely to compete in team events.
In February 2022, the IOC recommended that international sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in competitions.