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IOC outlines 'Neutral Athlete' rules for Russian, Belarusian Olympians

The International Oympic Committee has laid out rules for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Paris games as "Neutral Athletes." File Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI
The International Oympic Committee has laid out rules for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Paris games as "Neutral Athletes." File Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The International Olympic Committee on Friday outlined rules for how Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete in the 2024 Olympics despite the ban on their national Olympic Committees.

The committee said 11 qualified athletes -- eight with a Russian passport and three with a Belarusian passport -- will be permitted to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games as Individual Neutral Athletes, or ANIs, under "strict" eligibility conditions that bar them from supporting Russia's war against Ukraine or promoting their home countries.

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Under the terms, any athletes serving in the military of either nation or who have made public statements in support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be disqualified.

Russian and Belarusian teams will also not be permitted and no flag, anthem, colors or any identification of the Russia or Belarus will be displayed at any official Olympic venue or function.

Russian and Belarusian government or state officials also will not be invited to or accredited for the games.

The IOC added that the ANIs will also still be subject to anti-doping requirements, that apply to them leading up to the Olympics, particularly those of their International Federations.

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In October, the IOC barred the Russian and Belarusian International Federations from competing in the 2024 games in Paris for including athletic clubs and organizations from occupied Ukrainian territory.

The IOC said that athletes would be allowed to compete as "Neutral Athletes."

"The Russian Olympic Committee is no longer entitled to operate as a National Olympic Committee," the IOC said in a statement in October.

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