Russian, Belarusian Athletes Can Compete at 2024 Olympics Under Neutral Designation

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 25, 2023

This photograph taken on November 15, 2022, in Paris, shows the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games official logo, displayed in the official Paris 2024 shop in Les Halles shopping mall in central Paris. - The Olympic and Paralympic mascots are named "Les Phryges" and represent French revolutionary Phrygian caps. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)
THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee released a statement Wednesday revealing numerous edicts.

Most notably, Russian and Belarusian athletes may compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris "under a neutral designation with no national flag or anthem," as noted by Gord Miller of TSN.

In addition, the board reaffirmed continued sanctions against the Russian and Belarusian state and government amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Belarus' support of it. The group also acknowledged its continued solidarity with Ukraine and its athletes.

The board's Wednesday gathering occurred after meetings of important stakeholders took place over the past two months.

That run started with "unanimous conclusions" drawn from the Dec. 9 Olympic Summit, "which comprises the leaders of all the stakeholder groups of the Olympic Movement and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)."

Calls then occurred with "IOC Members, the global network of athletes' representatives, the International Federations (IFs) and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs)" on January 17 and 19.

Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete in the Olympics, but they can only do so under two circumstances.

"Only athletes who fully respect the Olympic Charter would participate. This means in particular: first, only those who have not acted against the peace mission of the IOC by actively supporting the war in Ukraine could compete. Second, only athletes who fully comply with the World Anti-Doping Code and all relevant anti-doping rules and regulations would be eligible. There must be individual checks carried out for all entered athletes."

In 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency banned the Russian Federation from all major sporting events for four years after the discovery of a state-sponsored doping scheme for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Russian athletics have competed under a "ROC" designation in the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2022 Winter Olympics. ROC stands for Russian Olympic Committee. Their flag is the Olympic symbol.

The Paris Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from Friday, July 26 to Sunday, Aug. 11, 2024.