The International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined a multi-step plan for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris and the 2026 Winter Games in Milan.
“No athlete should be prevented from competing solely because of their passport,” the IOC executive board declared.
The IOC said it would continue its sanctions against Russian and Belarusian state and government officials and would ban sporting events organized by the federations of both countries.
The organization said its board had met and “unanimously reaffirmed and called for a strengthening of the sanctions already in place.”
The IOC said it would re-engage and strengthen the organization’s “solidarity with Ukrainian athletes and the Ukrainian Olympic community” and support Ukraine’s effort to field a strong team at the Paris and Milan Games.
In order for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete, they would present themselves as “neutral athletes and in no way represent their state or any other organization in their country,” the IOC said.
“No flag, anthem, colors or any other identification of these countries will be displayed at any sporting event or gathering, including the entire venue.”
A joint statement by the athletes’ rights group Global Athlete and Ukrainian Athletes said the IOC’s plan to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the upcoming Olympics only strengthens “Russia’s propaganda machine.”