He International Olympic Committee will send invitations to the 2024 Paris Olympics later this month, but Russia and Belarus will be among the nations not to be included.
The IOC announced on Thursday that while a formal decision has been made on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes at next year’s Summer Olympics, the two nations will receive no formal invitations when the more than 200 eligible National Olympic Committees (NOCs) receive theirs on July 26.
«The IOC will make this decision at the appropriate time, at its sole discretion and without being bound by the results of previous Olympic qualification competitions,» the statement read.
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«Invitations to the 203 eligible NOCs will be sent out on July 26, 2023. For the reasons stated, this will exclude the NOCs of Russia and Belarus, plus the NOC of Guatemala, which is currently suspended.»
following the war In Ukraine, the IOC urged international sports bodies to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing. Many did, while others allowed them to compete under a neutral flag.
More than a year later, the IOC has now been working to support a path that would allow some of those athletes to qualify for Paris by competing as neutrals, a recommendation made by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
But the decision has created a division between the opposing sides, which the IOC described as «two irreconcilable positions.»
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«The Russian side wants the IOC to ignore the war. The Ukrainian side wants the IOC to totally isolate anyone with Russian and Belarusian passports. Both positions are diametrically opposed to the IOC mission and the Olympic Charter.»
The IOC also took a strong stance against the «backlash» from «some» European governments that opposed its goal of a resolution between the two parties.
“It is unfortunate to see that some governments do not want to respect the majority within the Olympic Movement or the autonomy of sport that they are demanding from other countries, and are praising in countless speeches and resolutions of the UN and the European Union.
«It is deplorable that these governments do not address the issue of double standards that we face in the calls for consultation.»
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The statement continued: «We have not seen a single comment from them about their attitude towards the participation of athletes whose countries are involved in the other 70 wars, armed conflicts and crises in the world.»
According to a Reuters report, IOC President Thomas Bach will address the issue with the media next week.
The IOC’s position on Guatemala differs from its position on Russia and Belarus. The country was suspended from the Olympic movement last year due to alleged government interference with the independence of the NOC there.
Associated Press contributed to this report.