Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

IOC Recommends Russian, Belarusian Athletes Return under Neutral Flag

Tue 28 Mar 2023 | 11:01 PM
Rana Atef

International Olympic Committee chiefs said, Tuesday, recommended the return of the Russian and Belarusian athletes under neutral flags, but without mentioning their participation at the Paris games 2024.

IOC president Thomas Bach said that the Executive Board recommended to international federations and international sports event organizers that "athletes with a Russian or a Belarusian passport must compete only as Individual Neutral Athletes".

On the other hand, German Sports Minister Nancy Faeser described the announcement as a "slap in the face" for Ukrainian athletes, who "deserve the solidarity of international sport".

"International sport must condemn Russia's brutal war of aggression in no uncertain terms. This can only be done with the complete exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes."

Russian authorities also responded to the decision by saying that forcing Russians to compete under a neutral flag would amount to "discrimination".

"The announced criteria for the return to international competitions are unacceptable. This is discrimination on the basis of nationality," Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee, told Russian news agencies.