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Kremlin criticizes IOC ban on Russian, Belarusian athletes marching in Olympic parade

"It undoubtedly contradicts the basic ideology of the Olympic Movement and is absolutely detrimental to the IOC reputation," Dmitry Peskov emphasized

MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Russia is against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to bar Russian and Belarusian athletes from taking part in the 2024 Olympic parade of athletes and exclude them from the official medals table, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"We definitely see it negatively. It is detrimental to the ideas of Olympism and infringes upon the interests of athletes, Olympians," he said. "It undoubtedly contradicts the basic ideology of the Olympic Movement and is absolutely detrimental to the IOC reputation."

On Tuesday, IOC Director of National Olympic Committees (NOC) Relations and Olympic Solidarity James Macleod told journalists that athletes representing Russia and Belarus would not be allowed to take part in the Parade of Athletes during the opening ceremony at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris. Macleod also stated that a decision on the participation of athletes during the Closing Ceremony of the upcoming Games should be expected at a later date.

The International Olympic Committee Executive Board convened for a meeting at the Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 19-20 and following its opening day on Tuesday it decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in the Parade of Athletes and also excluded them from the 2024 Olympics overall medal standings.

The IOC, however, ruled that Russian athletes, cleared to participate in the upcoming Olympics, would not be forced to sign documents denouncing their country’s special military operation in Ukraine.

The 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be hosted by the French capital of Paris between July 26 and August 11.

On October 12, 2023, the IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) until further notice after the Russian organization included the Olympic councils of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions as its members.

The Swiss-based CAS registered on November 6, 2023 an appeal from the ROC against the IOC’s decision on the Russian governing Olympic body’s suspension.

The suspension means that the ROC cannot act as a national Olympic committee or receive financing from the Olympic movement. The IOC however reserved the right to clear Russian athletes to take part in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 as neutrals. Later, IOC President Thomas Bach said that Russian athletes should have no affiliation with the ROC if they want to compete at the Olympic Games.