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UK govt supported participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in Olympic Games

The decision comes despite the UK government’s earlier advocacy for a complete ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes.
Boycott Russian Belarusian athletes Olympics
Image: via St Javelin/Instagram
UK govt supported participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in Olympic Games

The UK government has extended its support for the participation of Russian and Belarus athletes as neutrals at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This decision aligns with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)’s recent resolutions to allow individuals from these nations to compete, provided they adhere to neutrality conditions, BBC reports.

The backdrop of this development traces back to the exclusion of athletes from Russia and Belarus following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The ban was a global response to the war, with the sporting community standing in solidarity with Ukraine. However, the IOC and IPC’s revised stance permits athletes to partake in the Games without representing their national flags, emblems, or anthems.

Russian and Belarus participants must not have publicly endorsed the invasion or be associated with the military. The regulations prohibit these countries from partaking in team events.

Despite the UK government’s earlier advocacy for a complete ban on Russian and Belarus athletes, as voiced by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer, the recent endorsement of their neutral participation signifies a shift. Frazer, who previously led a summit of 36 countries advocating for the exclusion of these athletes, now said the updated neutrality conditions set forth by the IOC and IPC as sufficiently stringent.

The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games approach, with schedules set from 26 July to 11 August and 28 August to 8 September respectively, the sports world watches closely.

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