Russian athletes are gearing up to compete at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris despite being banned from most sports due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This was announced by the President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov in his Telegram channel.
“We are working to ensure the possibility of qualification and equal presence of our athletes in the Olympic Village and facilities, their participation in events during the Games,” wrote Pozdnyakov.
At the same time, most sports federations suspended Russian athletes from participating in competitions after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that they not allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in international tournaments. However, the Russian Olympic Committee, which represents Russian teams at the Games, remains a member of the Olympic Movement.
Russian sports journalist and commentator Alexander Shmurnov told The Insider that Russian athletes have few chances to compete in Paris in two years:
“The war is so dragging out the process of canceling normal interaction with the world community that two years, I'm afraid, won't be enough. In my opinion, this Olympic Committee will never represent Russia at the Games. He did a lot to promote absolutely disgusting ideas, to turn sport into a completely political process with the worst manifestations of the fight to stop doping. Everything that is happening now with Russian sports is its self-cancellation and self-devaluation, and the Russian Olympic Committee, which is part of a state that does not want to recognize international law, is also guilty of this. Russia cannot always be in this, and sooner or later it must return, but it will not be under the current Olympic Committee.”
The expert also explained why statements are being made about Russia's possible participation in the 2024 Olympics:
“This is a good mine in a bad game, to convince the Russian leadership and society with these statements that everything will be fine, that we need to continue to finance sports and pay attention to it. There is no evidence that this can be done. As you know, you can say “halva” as much as you like, but it will not be sweeter in your mouth. It is clear that this is a gigantic event for the whole world, and the minister of sports in any country, including North Korea, Belarus or Eritrea, also has something to say about this. Russia, waging war, cannot think about such a peaceful matter as the Olympics, but they are forced to say something, so they say.
Qualifying tournaments in some Olympic sports have already begun. Without participation in them, Russian athletes will not be able to get to the Games in Paris.
“It is unlikely that any of the Russians will qualify in all sports, except for judo, tennis and cycling, which allowed athletes from Russia,” former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), honorary member of the IOC, Craig Reedy, said earlier.
The International Judo Federation allowed the Russian team to participate in the Games, however, as "neutral athletes", without a flag and an anthem. This prompted a boycott of the competition by Ukraine, also because 11 out of 24 Russian judokas were military personnel.
In early July, the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, at a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, also confirmed that the IOC would continue to recommend that international federations not invite Russian and Belarusian athletes to the Games.
On July 25, it became known that the slogan "Let's open the Games wide" (Ouvrons grand les jeux / Games wide open) became the official motto of the 2024 Summer Olympics. According to the head of the IOC, "this approach will be key to inspire the next generation, allowing even more people in France and around the world to experience the Olympic spirit and values."
The competition will be held in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024. 329 sets of awards in 32 sports will be played at the Games.