Politics in sports


Olympic Summit agrees to follow up OCA proposal to host Russian and Belarus athletes for Paris 2024 qualifying events

Olympic Summit agrees to follow up OCA proposal to host Russian and Belarus athletes for Paris 2024 qualifying events
  • Members of the discussion:

  • Last reply:

The Olympic Summit, chaired by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, has agreed unanimously to follow up an initiative proposed by the Olympic Council of Asia to enable Russian and Belarus athletes to take part in its competitions.

Members at the 11th Summit in Lausanne agreed that the IOC should

lead the further exploration of the OCA initiative concerning the participation of athletes who are in full respect of the Olympic Charter and the sanctions."

This initiative to be discussed in the next round of IOC consultation calls with the IOC Members, the athletes’ representatives, the International Federations and the National Olympic Committees, 

an IOC release said.

It is understood the OCA is considering the addition of Russian and Belarusian athletes to some of its Paris 2024 qualifying events.

The Summit, involving the leading representatives of the Olympic Movement, re-stated the IOC's policy announced four days after Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, confirming that

the sanctions against the Russian and Belarusian states and governments remain firmly in place.

But there was no reference in this to the athletes, who were part of the original exclusion recommended by the IOC on February 28.

More recently, the IOC has sought to clarify that this recommendation was a "protective measure" for the athletes.

However, during the course of what was described by an IOC release as an "intense" debate, the Acting President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Randhir Singh stated that, on the Asian continent, the reasons for the protective measures no longer exist.

The OCA offered to facilitate the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in competitions in Asia under its authority, while respecting the sanctions in place.

Olympic Council of Asia has opened up a potential avenue for more Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to international competition 

Representatives from the International Federations welcomed this initiative, stating that, for some IFs and for hosts of their competitions, the same reasoning would apply, and that therefore there should not be a one-size-fits-all solution, but that each IF should carefully evaluate for its sport whether the reasons for the protective measures still exist.

Robin Mitchell, the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) welcomed the OCA initiative as a major step to re-establish the unity of all 206 National Olympic Committees.

The chair of the IOC Athletes' Commission (AC) said the body welcomed the exploration of the initiative as a way to live up to the Olympic mission to unite athletes from all around the world in peaceful competition, while noting that there were different views among the athlete community.

The other representatives present, including the European Olympic Committees (EOC) President and the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, supported the views expressed.

The President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Witold Bańka, informed the Summit that 31,112 tests had been conducted in and out-of-competition on Russian athletes from January 1 2021 to date.

These tests have been coordinated by different entities under their respective authority, and all samples have been and continue to be analysed in WADA-accredited laboratories outside Russia.

The IOC President thanked all the participants for the open, frank and constructive debate, 

the release added.

ANOC President Robin Mitchell welcomed the OCA initiative as a major step to re-establish the unity of all 206 National Olympic Committees 

In particular, he thanked the OCA for its creative initiative.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe was one of the main stakeholders who was not present.

Last week Coe, a member of the IOC, signalled that his sport would not be willing to lift sanctions until Moscow ended the conflict.

This is fairly simple,

the double Olympic gold medallist said following a World Athletics Council meeting in Rome.

Get out of Ukraine.

The discussion on the Russian situation had begun with the "vast majority of the participants" agreeing that "the sanctions against the Russian and Belarusian states and governments, as those responsible for this blatant breach of the Olympic Truce and the Olympic Charter, must remain firmly in place."

These sanctions included:

No international sports events being organised or supported by an International Federation (IF) or National Olympic Committee (NOC) in Russia or Belarus.

No flag, anthem, colours or any other identifications of these countries being displayed at any sports event or meeting.

The release added

The Olympic Movement had to take the protective measures of not inviting athletes from these NOCs because, on the one hand, some governments were deciding and still decide which athletes can participate in international competitions, and which athletes cannot.

It is understood the OCA is considering the addition of Russian and Belarusian athletes to some of its Paris 2024 qualifying events 

The Summit strongly rejected these measures by governments as unacceptable interference in the autonomy of sports organisations and their political neutrality.

The Summit emphasised that participation in sports competitions must be based exclusively on the sporting merits of an athlete and respect for the rules of sport.

Another reason for the protective measures was that, in some countries, the safety and security of athletes from Russia and Belarus could not be guaranteed anymore.

These protective measures put the Olympic Movement in a grave dilemma.

All athletes had to be protected from political interference.

The integrity of sports competitions had to be ensured.

This led the IOC to act against its mission to unify the entire world in peaceful competition, since it had to prohibit athletes from participation because of their passport only.

The participants of the Summit discussed in detail whether the reasons for these protective measures still exist and explored different ways as to how to overcome this extremely grave dilemma.

Among the factors which "informed" this debate was

the participation of many athletes from Russia and Belarus in national leagues abroad, and in different international sports competitions, including in cycling and tennis.

Also cited was

the encouragement and expectation expressed by so many leaders and people from Asia, Africa, the Americas, Oceania and parts of Europe who consider sport to be a unifying force of major importance in these divisive and highly confrontational times.

Original sourse

Top of discussion

The 2023 World Figure Skating Championships Conclude in a Blaze of Glory for Japan

This Championship was pretty amazing! And it showed that without Russians it didn’t become less interesting. The public doesn’t need quads by 15 year olds to enjoy the competition

Elena Anikina: "We hope, especially considering the position and strategy which IOC has now, that very soon the situation will be changed"

Apparently, soon Russia will have to build luge-bobsleigh tracks not only in Russia, but also in partner countries!) In terms of competitiveness for Russian bobsleigh, this is a st

Alexander Tkachev: "We make sure that our athletes get the most important thing - the opportunity to compete"

Yes, it is an interesting vector of development, it is also important here what projects and initiatives Russia can offer for Asian countries? Will we be able to host the Asian Che

Israeli gymnastics hit by allegations parents were asked to bribe judges

A great case, it seems tha now we need an analogue of WADA, who will investigate attempts to bribe judges, etc. It will be very interesting.

Sport and politics: my experiences as an athlete

Все это лишь еще раз доказывает, что спорт должен оставаться вне политики. К сожалению, чаще всего это просто слова.

Olympian, Nassar survivor Tasha Schwikert Moser on USA Gymnastics' board of directors

Очень круто, когда человек уверен, что именно он может что-то изменить, а особенно когда человек знает спорт изнутри. Уважать!

Disqualified for running in a hijab, Noor Alexandria Abukaram turned pain into action

Хочу поблагодарить эту спортсменку за то, что она не побоялась поставить свою историю в пример. Я считаю, что спортсмен может раскрыть свою религию. Хиджаб – выявленная черта мусул

Suni Lee finds support at Auburn after Olympics 'impostor syndrome'

Случайно, я знаю об этой спортсменке, сделал один вывод, что она точно не блещет, она очень солнечный человек. Жаль, что кто-то не был счастлив, когда она заслужила золото для свое

'Anesthetic injections are....' - WADA chief on doping accusation on French Open winner Rafael Nadal

Да, конечно, спорт — это преодоление себя. А к Рафаэлю вопросов нет, только респект за шикарную игрушку. Но все же, мне кажется, нельзя на сто процентов сказать, что теннисистка то

Give us a chance

Yes, I think athlets from foreign countries understand that all Championships and tournaments are not competitive enough without Russian athlets. I think one day when the situatio

Sport and Politics. Instead of afterword

The question of connection between Sports and Politics was always "exstra burning". So I am interested in your opinion: where should be the border between sport and politics and wh

“Oh, come on, where’s the medals?” or Do the media force athletes too hard?

I am pleased to announce that the British duck has been broken. Team GB will win at least one silver by the end of the Games on Sunday following their win in the Men's Curling semi

We use cookies to improve the site and your interaction with it. If you continue to use this website, you are giving :appName permission to collect and store cookies on your device.