The IOC Executive Committee recommended that international federations allow Russians who do not support the war in Ukraine to the tournaments as neutral athletes. This was stated by IOC President Thomas Bach, the statement was published on the organization's website .
These are the recommendations of the IOC, the official decision on the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes will be made later. Separately, the Committee notes that the participation of athletes with Russian or Belarusian citizenship in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games was not considered during today's discussions. The IOC reserved the right to decide on their participation at a later date.
“We cannot find a solution that suits everyone. We may have to live with that."
The IOC also stated that Russians and Belarusians should not be allowed to participate in international competitions in team sports. Bach defended plans for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes in a neutral status, as there were no security incidents at the competitions. Visas, with rare exceptions, also continue to be issued, the head of the IOC assured.
Earlier in March, the British Government had called on Olympic sponsors to put pressure on the IOC over a proposal to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete internationally again and at the Paris 2024 Games. British Minister of Culture, Media and Sports Lucy Fraser said that sports and politics in Russia and Belarus are closely intertwined, the regimes of these countries can use sports for their own propaganda purposes.
At the end of January, the IOC proposed to discuss the admission of Russians to the competition in a neutral status, provided that they did not support the war in Ukraine and comply with anti-doping rules. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky opposed the decision, saying that Russia's presence at the Olympics next year would be "an act of violence."