IOC recommends return of Russian, Belarusian athletes as neutrals

13:35, 29 March

The International Olympic Committee has recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete under a neutral flag, IOC President Thomas Bach told at the press conference following the meeting of the IOC Executive Board.

“International sporting events must be conducted in a spirit of peace and tolerance and without discrimination. Sanctions cannot be applied only on the basis of a passport or belonging to a particular nation. The IOC Executive Board urges international organizations that the Belarusian and Russian athletes should compete as individual neutral athletes,” Thomas Bach said.

The IOC head stressed that the decision on the admission of Belarusians and Russians to the Olympics would be taken by the sports federations under the condition that the decision could be withdrawn at any time. “The IOC will set up a special body under the auspices of the federation of summer and winter sports to decide on the admission of the Belarusian and Russian athletes. The criteria will be the same for all sports. We will make the final decision in due course, at our own discretion and without reference to the results of the Olympic qualification competitions,” he added.

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