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No deadline for deciding on participation of Russians, Belarusians in Paris Olympics — IOC

"Once we have a clearer picture there, we will take a decision," Thomas Bach pointed out

PARIS, July 26. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not set a deadline for deciding on admitting Russian and Belarusian athletes to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters.

"We will now closely monitor what is happening in the international competitions and in the qualifications because we want to make sure as possible that everybody concerned by these recommendations and by the Olympic Charter is respecting the letters and the spirit of these conditions. Once we have a clearer picture there, we will take a decision," he pointed out.

"We will not set a deadline <...> because we feel that if we set a deadline, we may face a situation where everybody behaves until the deadline and then afterwards things may get out of control," Bach added.

In March 2023, the IOC issued recommendations that athletes from Russia and Belarus be allowed to compete in international tournaments only as neutrals, provided that they have not made public statements in support of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine and are not affiliated with the Russian Armed Forces and national security agencies. A number of international federations are yet to develop criteria for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes. The IOC’s recommendations don’t apply to the Olympic Games.