International Olympic Committee banned Russia and Belarus from Paris Olympics

With Russia’s war in Ukraine persisting, the International Olympic Committee stated on July 14 that Russia and Belarus will not get formal invitations to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris when they are distributed on July 26.

The IOC has repeatedly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctioned the Russian and Belarusian Olympic committees while advising the governing bodies of each Olympic sport to allow athletes from Russia or Belarus to compete.

Nonetheless, IOC officials avoided saying whether the two countries would be invited to Paris in the hope that the war would stop. 

However, with violence still ongoing and the IOC’s regular invitation deadline — one year before the Opening Ceremonies — nearing, the IOC was forced to admit that Russia and Belarus will not be invited at this time.

Latest IOC statement on Russia and Belarus

The statement was buried in the IOC’s updated question-and-answer paper on Russia and Belarus, first issued in the spring. 

It only went into a bit of detail other than to repeat the policy of leaving the choices of Russian and Belarussian athletes to the discretion of the respective sports.

The declaration did not specify whether the two countries would be invited if the war ended before the Paris Games.

Since the qualifying process for numerous Olympic sports has begun, Russian competitors will only qualify for the Games if they compete as independents. Although World Athletics barred Russian and Belarussian athletes from competing in international events, other sports were more indulgent.

Unless something drastic changes in the coming months, the Russian delegation will be sanctioned for the fifth consecutive Olympics. As punishment for its state-sponsored doping programme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Moscow was banned from competing in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

WADA blacklisted Russia for doping programme at 2014 Sochi Games

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) later blacklisted Russia for the Sochi programme, and it has since competed in the past two Olympics under the moniker Russian Olympic Committee, despite several sanctions, including not having its anthem played at the Games.

The WADA sanction ended in December 2022, but the organisation stated this spring that Russia is still “non-compliant” with its regulation. 

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