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Russian and Belarusian athletes may receive participation ban in 2024 Paris Olympics

Wimbledon was one of the most recent sporting events to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus.

Abhishek Sandikar Author

Updated - 13 July 2022 2:21 pm

Athletes from Russia and Belarus could be banned from competing at the Paris Olympics in 2024 Games because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The news was confirmed by senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Craig Reedie who talked about how the IOC issued guidelines to sports governing bodies in February to remove the two countries’ athletes from competition

“A decision is going to have to be taken on what happens to each of these two countries, and my guess is that the general feeling would be that they should not qualify,” former IOC vice president Reedie told British media. “Most people are struggling with how we could achieve some degree of representation, but at the moment, there is no clear way to do it. Therefore, you maintain the status quo.”

Reedie then addressed how unrealistic it would be to allow athletes to enter qualifying competitions once the contests have started. “It’s quite difficult halfway through to say, ‘All of you who have now qualified, we’ve changed the rules’,” he added. 

“So there’s a real issue for the federations, who have a clear instruction which they’ve agreed to that they won’t invite Russians and Belarusians to take part in events. “On the face of it, it’s unlikely that anybody would qualify other than those three sports which don’t do it that way. And will they be able to qualify [from those three sports]? I’m not sure.”

IOC President Thomas Bach in May alluded to the fact that Russia and Belarusian participation was unclear. But also talked about how punished the athletes isn’t the perfect solution for the issue. Bach believes that wars are started by governments and the citizens of the country have no part in it. 

“There is no justice if you paint everyone with the same brush,” Bach said in his speech to the IOC session. “This would even be counter-productive because it would play into the propaganda of those who claim that sanctions are just a part of a wider conspiracy directed against their country. This war has not been started by the Russian people, the Russian athletes, the Russian Olympic Committee or the IOC members in Russia,” Bach said.

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