Putin and Xi Jingping support IOC’s plans to have Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutrals in Olympics 2024

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin support the idea of Russian neutrality in 2024 Paris Olympics.


Putin and Xi Jingping support IOC’s plans to have Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutrals in Olympics 2024

Credits: Reuters

The contention against the participation of Russian athletes participating in the 2024 Paris Olympics has been gradually drawing to a close as more political leverage is getting involved in the same. President Vladimir Putin of Russia welcomed the President of People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping in a historic visit to the country.

This marked the first visit of the Chinese leader to the country since Russia’s launch of the Ukraine offensive last year. The two leaders have assessed various dimensions, including that of sports and welcomed the decision of International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to allow Russians and Belarusians as neutral athletes.

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In a campaign led by Ukraine, the Western nations are pursuing to ban Russia from participating in the upcoming Paris Olympics in 2024. In solidarity with IOC’s decisions, the joint statement by both the leaders said, “The parties welcome the relevant initiatives and decisions of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), which jointly uphold Olympic values. The parties oppose the politicisation of sports, and hope to use the unique role of physical culture and sports to promote solidarity and peace.”

Related: IOC urges UK government to respect autonomy of sport over ban on Russian, Belarusian athletes at Paris 2024 Olympics

Xi and Putin agree upon neutral Russian athletes for 2024 Paris Olympics

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Credits: Reuters

Western nations and others around the globe have sanctioned Russia and Belarus for invading Ukraine in 2022. The war is still ongoing, and Russia does not intend to stop. As a measure of deterrence, one of the sanctions on Russia is a ban on sports representation which includes even the Olympics.

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Russia was already banned from the Olympics in 2017 due to charges of state-sponsored doping. Even if that ban was in place, Russia participated in 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

The countries are calling for a complete ban on the participation of Russian athletes altogether from all platforms. However, some including members of IOC and USPOC consider that Russian athletes can be allowed to participate under a neutral banner.

Xi and Putin agree with the IOC regarding representing Russian athletes under a neutral banner. They have also called out the Western countries for them targeting Russia and Belarus. Putin says, “Western countries are trying to use sports for unseemly purposes as a tool of pressure.”

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Russian and Belarusian athletes are already competing at the International Boxing Association Women’s World Championships which will be taking this week in New Delhi, India. Besides IOC, the Olympic Committee of Asia (OCA) also welcomes the decision for Russia and Belarus to join under a neutral banner.

The IOC Executive Board will come to a decision upon further deliberation on this contention when they meet next week.

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