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Some Russian, Belarusian athletes allowed to compete in 2024 Olympics

While individual Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to compete, teams will be barred from the 2024 Olympics.
Some Russian, Belarusian athletes allowed to compete in 2024 Olympics
Posted at 8:36 AM, Dec 08, 2023

The International Olympic Committee announced Friday that Russian and Belarusian athletes would be allowed to compete during the 2024 Olympics, despite calls for their exclusion. 

The IOC said that these athletes would be allowed to compete under a "neutral" flag. Teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport will not be considered, the IOC said. 

The IOC added that athletes who actively supported the war in Ukraine would be excluded from competition. Additionally, members of the Russian or Belarusian military are ineligible. 

Olympic officials added that delegations from Russia and Belarus are not invited to the 2024 Games in Paris. 

Russia has not been formally represented in the Olympics since 2016 due to a state-sponsored doping scandal. Russian teams were allowed to compete in the 2018 Olympics as Olympic athletes from Russia. For the 2020 and 2022 games, these athletes competed as the Russian Olympic Committee. 

The biggest difference between 2024 and previous Olympics is those participating in team sports will be excluded from the competition. 

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How to handle Russian and Belarusian competition has been a matter of much debate in the sports world since Russia began its war with Ukraine in 2022. Those participating in team sports have been much more likely to be banned from competition than those participating as individuals. 

FIFA has excluded Russian and Belarusian teams from international soccer competitions. FIBA has banned national squads from international basketball competitions. 

However, individual sports have largely allowed individuals to compete. One notable exception came in 2022 when Wimbledon barred Russian and Belarusian players from participating. 

After the professional tour representing top male and female tennis players decried the decision, Wimbledon opted to allow these athletes to compete in 2023.

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