Some Russians make the cut for the Paris Olympics, but others fail to pass the vetting process

The opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games will take place on the River Seine and in the gardens of the Trocadero.

An artist’s impression of the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games, to be held in Paris on the River Seine and in the gardens of the Trocadero Park.
Photo: Delivered/Paris 2024

The first batch of Russian and Belarusian athletes have been cleared to compete in next month’s Olympic Games in Paris, with a total of 25 making the cut.

But others have failed the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) vetting process over the war in Ukraine, the organization said on Saturday.

The IOC said Russia and Belarus would have athletes to fill their allocated quotas in some sports, including cycling and trampolining, but in other sports, such as taekwondo, no qualified athlete from either country had met the eligibility criteria after he had been vetted to get a spot.

A total of 25 athletes from Russia and Belarus were released for 41 quota places and the remaining athletes will now be distributed among other countries.

In total, Russia has approved 14 athletes for 24 allocated places, while 11 Belarusian athletes have passed the procedure for 17 places.

“The panel was in a position to benefit from new information from various sources, in particular official lists of athletes affiliated with sports clubs of the military and security forces, published on official websites in Russia and Belarus,” the IOC said.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the IOC initially recommended a ban on international competitions for athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus, but has since allowed them to qualify for the Paris Olympics as neutral athletes.

Each qualified athlete must undergo the screening process by a three-member panel appointed by the IOC to ensure he or she meets the eligibility criteria.

Not actively supporting the war in Ukraine and not contracting a military or security agency are among these criteria.

The IOC has said it expects about 36 Russian and 22 Belarusian athletes to compete as neutral athletes in Paris.

The maximum numbers, depending on qualification standards and national quotas, and unlikely to be reached, would be 54 and 28 respectively.

It is widely expected within the IOC that Russia will appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.

– Reuters