Athletes from Russia and Belarus are denied permission to participate in the Asian Games by the International Olympic Associaton amidst rising tensions between the two nations and Ukraine. The Olympic Council of Asia confirmed the news on Friday without elaboration. The OCA had agreed to accept a maximum of 500 athletes from the two nations—which are subject to sanctions by the invasion of Ukraine—for the competition in Hangzhou during its General Assembly in July. 

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However, the IOC had to approve of their participation. The OCA claimed that the IOC did not provide the go-ahead in a brief statement on Thursday. In a statement to The Indian Express, the continental organisation said: "No Russian and Belarusian athletes (at the Asian Games), and it is IOC's decision, not OCA."

Russian media had The decision will be a setback for everyone who was hoping to qualify for the Paris Olympics through competitions in Asia, however, it is not yet clear if the Russian athletes won't be permitted to compete at just the Asian Games or all continental Olympic qualifying events. The athletes from Russia and Belarus, who are already pressed for time to compete in the Olympics in Paris, will now need to find another way to travel to the French capital.

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The OCA had given the 32 sports on the Paris Olympics schedule the option of allowing the Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in their respective events. The athletes from the two nations would have competed as neutrals, not under the Russian and Belarusian flags, and they could have only competed in individual events if they had been permitted.