Aryna Sabalenka, Daniil Medvedev and Co. get green signal for 2024 Paris Olympics despite no resolution of Ukraine war

The Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to take part in the 2024 Paris Olympics as Individual Neutral Athletes (AINs).


Aryna Sabalenka, Daniil Medvedev and Co. get green signal for 2024 Paris Olympics despite no resolution of Ukraine war

(L) Daniil Medvedev ; (R) Aryna Sabalenka (Sources: Mirror, IMAGO)

The International Olympic Committee has announced today that Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics as neutrals. This means that they will be participating in the tournament without a flag, emblem or anthem for their country.

Given the situation of the still-ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, it was unclear until today whether the Russian and Belarusian athletes would get the shorter end of the stick due to the decisions of their governments.

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The decision comes as a sigh of relief for tennis players from Russia and Belarus. Players like Aryna Sabalenka, Daniil Medvedev, and Andrey Rublev are a few prominent names in the sport who will now be able to take part in the tournament without any problems. ATP and WTA had allowed these players to continue on the tour in 2023 without any hindrance after a few doubts at the very beginning when the war had started. 

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, athletes from these nations were banned by the IOC. In fact, Ukraine had threatened to boycott the Olympic games if the ban was not upheld at the 2024 Paris Olympics. However, their sports minister, Vadym Huttsait, later said in July that they could drop the threat if the athletes were allowed to participate under a neutral flag

It was the Olympic sports federations that asked the IOC to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the tournament last week, following which the decision was taken. 

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The executive board of the IOC has decided that individual neutral athletes (AINs) who have qualified through the existing qualification systems of the International Federations on the field of play will be declared eligible to compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in accordance with the conditions outlined. 
The Olympic body. (H/T: BBC)

IOC has laid down some strict eligibility conditions for Russian and Belarusian athletes 

Although the Russian and Belarusian athletes have been given the green light to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics, there are some strict eligibility conditions. For example, while individual athletes who have qualified for the Olympics will be allowed to participate, teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport will not be considered. 

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev (Source: Screengrab/ X)

Moreover, athletes and support personnel who actively support the war or are contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies will also not be allowed to compete. However, the ban on Russia and Belarus remains intact and there must be no representation of those two nations in the 2024 Paris Olympics. The Russian or Belarusian government or state officials will not be invited or accredited to the event either. 

Moreover, some other organizations, like the World Athletics, have not changed their stance. They remain fixed on their position that Russian and Belarusian athletes are banned from all World Athletics Series events.

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