Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka are a step closer to being allowed to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revealed its plans to recommend Russian and Belarusian athletes be allowed to compete at the Games as neutrals.
In February, the IOC said there were plans to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics. In the weeks that followed, the IOC received criticism, with some insisting that just wasn’t right.
But on Tuesday, IOC President Thomas Bach defended their decision. “First of all, what is maybe most important, what has changed, is that participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in competitions and in international competitions, works.
We see this almost every day in a number of sports. We see it most prominently in tennis, but we see it also in cycling. We see it in some table tennis competitions, we see it in ice hockey, we see it in handball, we see it in football and in other leagues — in the United States, but also in Europe, and we also see it in other continents,” Bach said.
Medvedev, Sabalenka a step closer to competing at the Paris Olympics
Since the start of the Russian invasion, Russian and Belarusian players on the ATP and WTA tours have been competing as neutrals. Before deciding that Russian and Belarusian players should be given a chance to compete at the Paris Olympics as neutrals, the IOC looked at some other international competitions that have been allowing athletes from those two countries to compete.
“It’s even that the governments on whose territory the competitions are taking place, they’re issuing visas (to Russians and Belarusian athletes) with very few exceptions. In other countries, they’re even issuing working permits where it’s necessary for these players and athletes,” Bach said. Now, the chances of seeing Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Paris Olympics seem to be very high.