UK to drop opposition to Russian athletes at Paris Olympics | EUROtoday

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The British Government has indicated that it’s ready to drop its opposition to Russian and Belarusian athletes competing within the Paris Olympics and Paralympics in gentle of a current tightening of strict neutrality guidelines.

The Government has written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to underscore its personal place, with which it says it’s assured the respective governing our bodies now concur.

The IPC issued a stricter set of pointers regarding the eligibility of Russian and Belarusian athletes final month, which introduced it broadly into line with earlier statements issued by the IOC.

They embody necessities that Russian and Belarusian athletes should compete in impartial uniforms, won’t characteristic in both opening or closing ceremonies or in medals tables, and might be independently vetted to make sure they’ve by no means publicly supported the Ukraine struggle.

Government officers have backed the toughened stance however denied a U-turn. A Government spokesman instructed the PA information company: “Russian and Belarusian athletes representing their country should not be permitted in domestic or international sporting competition. That position still stands.”

The IPC attracted criticism final 12 months for voting to solely partially droop the respective Olympic committees, paving the way in which for them to compete as neutrals. ParalympicsGB stated on the time that the choice “does not align with the values of the Paralympic movement”.

The IOC has taken a harder stance, with the Russian Olympic Committee nonetheless suspended. Russia’s unsuccessful attraction towards the sanction in February provoked a livid response from the Kremlin, whose spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused IOC president Thomas Bach of damaging the Olympic motion.

Russia has additionally confirmed that it intends to push forward with staging a ‘Friendship Games’ in Moscow and Ekaterinburg in September, which the IOC has described as “a violation of the Olympic charter”.

Russian and Belarusian athletes have been allowed to compete within the UK beneath strict neutrality guidelines for the reason that invasion of Ukraine. However, the rigorous standards, mirrored by many different governments and particular person sports activities federations, means as few as 60 Russian and Belarusian athletes might qualify to compete as neutrals in Paris.