Russian, Belarusian athletes to be excluded from Olympics opening ceremony, IOC announces


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As tensions between Russian and Belarusian athletes and the Worldwide Olympic Committee proceed to rise forward of the 2024 Summer time Video games in Paris, the IOC introduced Tuesday that impartial athletes with passports from these nations will be unable to take part within the Opening Ceremony parade. 

The IOC’s Government Board agreed on quite a lot of measures involving Particular person Impartial Athletes (AINs) forward of the Olympics, which incorporates “strict eligibility circumstances” for these athletes competing as people. 

Olympic brand in Paris forward of the 2024 Summer time video games.  (AP Photograph/Aurelien Morissard, File)

The board established Tuesday that “AINs is not going to take part within the parade of delegations (groups) throughout the Opening Ceremony, since they’re particular person athletes,” however added that they may be capable to “expertise the occasion” which is slated for July 26. 

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Tips for the closing ceremony weren’t but established. 

The board additionally established that Russian and Belarusian athletes competing as neutrals will likely be represented by a particular flag with their designation and an anthem with no lyrics, which was “offered solely for this function.” 

Any medals received by impartial athletes may even not be counted as a collective group within the general medals desk.

Reporters outside an Olympics office

Reporters work exterior the headquarters of the Paris Olympic organizers, Tuesday, June 20, 2023 in Saint-Denis, exterior Paris. (AP Photograph/Thomas Padilla)

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Russia and Belarus are barred from crew sports activities on the Olympics due to the war in Ukraine and should endure a two-step vetting process for particular person athletes from these nations to be granted impartial standing. 

These athletes should first be accepted by the governing physique of their particular person sport after which by an IOC-appointed evaluation panel. Impartial athletes should not have publicly supported the invasion of Ukraine, or be affiliated with navy or state safety businesses. 

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The choice follows an earlier warning from the IOC to different sports activities governing our bodies to not take part within the Vladimir Putin-sanctioned Friendship Video games — a possible rival occasion of the Olympics. 

IOC President Thomas Bach announcement

Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach speaks on the opening of the manager board assembly of the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC), on the Olympic Home, in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 19, 2024.  (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone by way of AP)

“The IOC strongly urges all stakeholders of the Olympic motion and all governments to reject any participation in, and help of, any initiative that intends to completely politicize worldwide sport,” an announcement learn. 

The occasion, which was launched in response to the isolation Russian and Belarusian athletes confronted after the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, can pay tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in prize cash and is scheduled to start simply weeks after the Closing Ceremony in Paris. 

The Related Press contributed to this report. 

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