Russ­ian Par­a­lympians were allowed to par­tic­i­pate in the Par­a­lympics: do oth­er ath­letes have a chance?

The Inter­na­tion­al Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee has cleared Russ­ian ath­letes to par­tic­i­pate in the Par­a­lympic Games in 2024. At the same time, the com­mit­tee pre­vi­ous­ly sus­pend­ed the mem­ber­ship of the Russ­ian Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee in orga­niz­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

“Due to the par­tial sus­pen­sion, the Russ­ian Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee (RPC) los­es all mem­ber­ship rights to the IPC, how­ev­er its ath­letes are eli­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate in indi­vid­ual and neu­tral sta­tus at the 2024 Par­a­lympic Games in Paris,” the com­mit­tee said in a state­ment pub­lished on the organization’s web­site. The Par­a­lympic Games in Paris will take place from August 28 to Sep­tem­ber 8, 2024.

On what terms?

Russ­ian Par­a­lympians will be able to com­pete only in a neu­tral sta­tus. This applies not only to the Par­a­lympic Games, but also to oth­er inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tions. True, there are excep­tions here: in team events, the Rus­sians nev­er received per­mis­sion. The full eli­gi­bil­i­ty cri­te­ria will be announced to the ath­letes at a lat­er date.

What do you know about other athletes?

The Inter­na­tion­al Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee can make deci­sions inde­pen­dent­ly of the IOC. In turn, the IOC is in no hur­ry to admit the Rus­sians: the com­mit­tee pre­vi­ous­ly promised to make a deci­sion by the fall.

On Jan­u­ary 25, the IOC vot­ed for the return of Russ­ian and Belaru­sian ath­letes to inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tions sub­ject to the fol­low­ing con­di­tions:

  • Neu­tral sta­tus: ath­letes do not have the right to appear pub­licly with the Russ­ian flag or dis­play the name and nation­al sym­bols of the coun­try.
  • If the ath­letes did not pub­licly sup­port the spe­cial oper­a­tion and are not asso­ci­at­ed with the army and nation­al secu­ri­ty agen­cies.
  • Ath­letes are allowed to par­tic­i­pate only in indi­vid­ual sports.

Russ­ian ath­letes applied for neu­tral sta­tus, but not all appli­ca­tions were sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion. The Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions has promised to return mon­ey to Russ­ian track and field ath­letes who were not allowed to par­tic­i­pate in neu­tral sta­tus. The amount of com­pen­sa­tion will be from 100 to 250 dol­lars. The only world cham­pi­on in the 110-meter hur­dles in the his­to­ry of the Sovi­et and Russ­ian sprint, Sergei Shubenkov, was also includ­ed in the list of ath­letes claim­ing com­pen­sa­tion.

Will Russians go to the Olympics if the IOC allows it?

The Pres­i­dent of the Russ­ian Olympic Com­mit­tee, Stanislav Pozd­nyakov, said that Rus­sia would not boy­cott the Games, and cit­ed the exam­ple of the 1980 Olympics, when the boy­cott did not change the poli­cies of the USSR and the USA. “I believe that we should not miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to per­form at the Games,” agreed the Pres­i­dent of the Russ­ian Artis­tic Gym­nas­tics Fed­er­a­tion Vasi­ly Titov.