We are look­ing into the con­di­tions under which Russ­ian ath­letes will be able to par­tic­i­pate in the upcom­ing games in France.

The Inter­na­tion­al Olympic Com­mit­tee has allowed ath­letes from Rus­sia and Belarus to com­pete at the 2024 Olympic Games, which will be held in Paris, but with a num­ber of restric­tions. As at the 2022 Olympic Games in Bei­jing, ath­letes from Rus­sia must com­pete in a neu­tral sta­tus. This means that nei­ther the flag, nor the coat of arms, nor the anthem of Rus­sia will be at the upcom­ing games.

The restric­tions don’t end there. The IOC stat­ed that only those ath­letes who did not make pro-war state­ments would be allowed to par­tic­i­pate in the games. Active sup­port of com­bat activ­i­ties by an ath­lete or his sup­port team means inel­i­gi­bil­i­ty for the 2024 Olympic Games. Also sub­ject to the restric­tion are ath­letes who entered into con­tracts with the Russ­ian or Belaru­sian mil­i­tary, or nation­al secu­ri­ty agen­cies. Also, teams of ath­letes with a Russ­ian or Belaru­sian pass­port will not be con­sid­ered. Indi­vid­ual play­ers only.

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Are there any restrictions other than political ones?

In their state­ment, the IOC repeat­ed­ly asserts that they advo­cate sports out­side of pol­i­tics and do not seek to lim­it ath­letes based on nation­al­i­ty, so they tried not to cre­ate obsta­cles for ath­letes from coun­tries that are under sanc­tions.

How­ev­er, in addi­tion to pure­ly polit­i­cal restric­tions, there are oth­ers. Dop­ing relat­ed. The Pres­i­dent of the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) and the Chair­man of the Inter­na­tion­al Test­ing Agency (ITA) assured those present that dop­ing con­trol in Rus­sia con­tin­ues. This year, more than 10,500 sam­ples were col­lect­ed from Russ­ian ath­letes.

This means that Rus­sia remains in the top ten coun­tries test­ed. In addi­tion, it was indi­cat­ed that in 2023 the ITA con­duct­ed more than 400 out-of-com­pe­ti­tion tests on ath­letes of Russ­ian cit­i­zen­ship. Blood and urine sam­ples are trans­port­ed under a strict chain of cus­tody to mul­ti­ple lab­o­ra­to­ries out­side the coun­try. Any Adverse Ana­lyt­i­cal Find­ings are accept­ed and mon­i­tored by WADA.

How strict are the restrictions?

It may seem that the rules for admis­sion to the Olympic Games have not changed much com­pared to 2022. But this is not the case, and you can eas­i­ly see this if you look at the sta­tis­tics: how many ath­letes from Rus­sia and Belarus were allowed to par­tic­i­pate in the games?

The IOC says only 11 ath­letes from Rus­sia and Belarus qual­i­fied for the Paris Olympics. Among them are 8 Rus­sians and 3 cit­i­zens of Belarus. For com­par­i­son: 60 ath­letes from Ukraine have already qual­i­fied.

Russ­ian and Belaru­sian ath­letes have prac­ti­cal­ly not par­tic­i­pat­ed in inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tions for the last two years, so they had lit­tle chance to meet the nec­es­sary stan­dards.