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IOC establishes panel to determine Russian and Belarusian athletes’ eligibility as neutral participants in Paris 2024; introduces distinct flag and anthem for them

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IOC sets up panel to decide Russian, Belarus nationals' participation in Paris 2024 as neutral athletes; unveils separate flag and anthem for them

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the formation of a review panel to determine the eligibility and participation of Individual Neutral Athletes (AINs) with Russian and Belarusian passports in the upcoming Paris Olympic Games in July. A separate flag and anthem will be used for AINs, and medals won by them will not be displayed in the NOC medal table.

The IOC revealed that athletes with Russian or Belarusian passports who have qualified through existing qualification systems will be closely monitored to ensure they meet the IOC’s eligibility requirements. Currently, there are 12 AINs with Russian passports and seven with Belarusian passports qualified for the Paris Olympics out of the 6,000 quota places awarded for 2024.

To evaluate the eligibility of these athletes and their support personnel, the IOC has set up an Individual Neutral Athlete Eligibility Review Panel (AINERP) consisting of three members. The panel will have the authority to invite AINs to participate in the Olympic Games and monitor their conduct during the Games and afterwards, with the ability to impose sanctions if necessary.

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Furthermore, the IOC clarified that only individual athletes, not teams, from Russia and Belarus can qualify as AINs for the Paris Olympics. Athletes contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies will not be eligible to compete, and sanctions against Russia and Belarus for their involvement in the war against Ukraine remain in place.

Lastly, no official representation of Russia or Belarus, including flags, anthems, or colors, will be displayed at the Olympic Games, and no government or state officials from these countries will be invited or accredited for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The IOC aims to ensure fair and safe participation from all athletes while upholding the Olympic Charter and principles of participation.

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