EXCLUSIVE: Russia may be banned from team sports at the 2024 Olympics as presidents harden their stance after conflict in Ukraine… as competing countries urge the IOC to exclude them entirely amid attempts to compete as neutrals
- Organizers may ban Russia from team sports at the 2024 Olympics
- The country’s invasion of Ukraine forced the leaders to harden their stance
- Officials set strict standards for Russian athletes to compete impartially
Russia may be banned from team sports at the Paris Olympics next year under circumstances being considered to allow athletes from the country to compete as “neutral” at the Games.
sportsmail Banning Russia from team sports such as football, handball and volleyball – which would effectively prevent them from Olympic qualifiers – was learned among the options discussed as part of recommendations for international federations to follow.
Olympic bosses are setting ‘tough’ standards for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete impartially in international events, paving the way for them to participate in some form at Paris 2024 – despite widespread criticism and threats of a boycott.
The IOC is also considering banning Russian competitors who have committed “war crimes,” as well as those who actively supported the invasion of Ukraine and have links to the military.
But the International Olympic Committee is risking a backlash as a UN expert who advised the organization said members of the Russian military should not be automatically excluded – even if they are part of the military presence that has wreaked havoc on Ukraine.
Russia may be banned from team sports at the 2024 Olympics in Paris as leaders crack down on leaders amid their country’s invasion of Ukraine
Competitor nations and protest groups have called for Russia to be completely disqualified amid attempts by athletes to compete neutrally
A ban on team sports would be a huge blow to Russia. The neutral women’s volleyball team won silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but their volleyball teams have not qualified for the Games since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Russia has competed neutrally in the last three Olympic Games due to state-sponsored doping however sportsmail He understands that the conditions being explored will be more difficult than ever because of the war in Ukraine.
The rules for the dress code of Russian athletes at world competitions will be tightened in 2023. No Russian insignia will be allowed on clothes, and the country’s flag and national anthem will also be banned.
The IOC initially recommended that all Russian and Belarusian athletes be banned from international sport before announcing in January that it would draw up a path for them to participate as neutrals.
Ukraine and other countries – including Britain – have criticized the plan and urged the International Olympic Committee to drop it entirely due to Russia’s all-out invasion of the nation, which began in February 2022.
In a joint statement on Monday, Britain was among the countries calling on the IOC once again to return to its previous position of excluding Russians and Belarusians from international events.
Russian and Belarusian athletes are still banned from athletics because of the war.
Russia’s doping suspension after nearly eight years was lifted last week, but world athletics chief Sebastian Coe announced they would be ineligible to take part in major events “for the foreseeable future” as a result of the invasion.
Any ban would be a huge blow to Russia ahead of the Paris Games – as the rules for athletes from the country have already been tightened