International Olympic Committee Rejects Calls to Ban Russian Athletes, Official Says

© AFP 2023 INDRANIL MUKHERJEEthe 141st Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Mumbai on October 15, 2023.
the 141st Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Mumbai on October 15, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 15.10.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - On October 15-17, the Indian city Mumbai is hosting the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) session. Among other issues, the participants of the session will also discuss the inclusion of several optional sports to the program of Summer Olympics 2028, including squash, lacrosse, cricket and others, media reported.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) strongly rejected calls by several countries for the total exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes from competitions, despite IOC recommendations to allow them to compete as neutral athletes, IOC Director for National Olympic Committees Relations James Macleod said on Sunday.
"In some cases, interference in the autonomy of sport persists with governments advocating for a ban on all Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in competitions or even denying the issuance of visas. The IOC strongly rejects these government interferences and continues to closely monitor the situation," Macleod said at the 141st IOC session.
Members of the Russian national team (ROC team) during the parade of athletes at the opening ceremony of the XXIV Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, 2022. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 11.07.2023
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During the session, President of European Olympic Committees Spyros Capralos also called on the international federations to follow the IOC recommendations.
At the session, the chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad and former Croatian president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, said that violating the Olympic Charter and IOC norms by blocking the participation of athletes from other countries in competitions would hinder chances for a country to be elected as an Olympic Games host.
The IOC recommended in March that Russians be allowed to compete as individual neutral athletes as long as they are not actively supporting Russia in its conflict with Ukraine or under contract with their national military or security agencies.