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Russian and Belarusian athletes do not participate in the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics | Other sports news


Olympic officials announced Tuesday that Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in this summer’s Paris Games under a neutral flag will not be able to take part in the opening ceremony. Neutral Individual Athletes (AIN) from both countries “will not participate in the parade of delegations and teams during the opening ceremony as they are individual athletes”, IOC Director James Macleod said. after a meeting of the executive board of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne. “But they will be given the opportunity to experience the event,” added Macleod. The AINs will be on site, he said, but will not be among the passengers in the boat parade on the Seine on July 26.

Macleod said the scenario mirrored that of the 1992 Barcelona Games for “independent Olympic participants” from the former Yugoslavia.

“The decision regarding the participation of AINs in the closing ceremony will be taken later, taking into account that it is not the teams that participate in the closing ceremony, but all the athletes together.”

Athletes from Russia and Belarus had already been banned from attending the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, which begins in Paris on August 28, just over two weeks after the Olympics end.

In December, the IOC suspended Russia from the 2024 Games, but gave the green light for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutral countries as long as they do not actively support the war against Ukraine.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have faced sanctions from a host of sports since Moscow launched its assault on Ukraine in February 2022.

Over the past year, a number of Olympic sports have eased their restrictions, allowing athletes from both countries to return to competition under certain conditions.

However, Russians and Belarusians remain banned from practicing athletics.

Macleod added that there are currently 12 AINs with Russian passports and seven AINs with Belarusian passports who have qualified for Paris 2024, out of the 6,000 places already allocated for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

It is currently expected that “in the most likely scenario, 36 AINs with Russian passports and 22 AINs with Belarusian passports will qualify for the Olympic Games.”

The maximum number, which Macleod says is unlikely to be reached, would be 55 and 28 respectively.

Some 330 Russian and 104 Belarusian athletes took part in the Covid-delayed Tokyo Games.

The IOC declared that the AINs would have their own flag and an anthem without words. Medals won by AINs will not be displayed in the general medal table.

“No flag, anthem, colors or any other identification of Russia or Belarus will be displayed at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on any official site or during any official ceremony,” the IOC said.

“No Russian or Belarusian government or state representative will be invited or accredited for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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