IOC approves Individual Neutral Athletes for Paris 2024

LAUSANNE, Dec. 8– The International Olympic Committee Executive Board approved on Friday the participation of Individual Neutral Athletes at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 under strict eligibility conditions. AINs, athletes holding a Russian or Belarusian passport, who have secured their spots through the existing qualification systems of the…

LAUSANNE, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) — The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) approved on Friday the participation of Individual Neutral Athletes (AINs) at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 under strict eligibility conditions.

AINs, athletes holding a Russian or Belarusian passport, who have secured their spots through the existing qualification systems of the International Federations (IFs) on the field of play, will be deemed eligible to compete at Paris 2024, following specific conditions, the IOC announced.

There are only 11 AINs among the 4,600 athletes who have qualified for Paris 2024, eight possessing a Russian passport and three owning a Belarusian passport, according to the IOC. Other AINs may be extended invitations by the IOC or IFs.

The IOC plans to conduct an independent evaluation of the eligibility of each qualified AIN proposed by the IF, and their support personnel.

Several conditions are applied to AINs, including not supporting the war, not being affiliated with the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies, and prohibiting the display of any flag, anthem, colors, or other identifications of Russia or Belarus. They must also comply with all anti-doping requirements. No teams comprising athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport will participate at Paris 2024.

“The protection of the rights of individual athletes to participate in competitions despite the suspension of their NOC (National Olympic Committee) is a well-established practice, respecting human rights, and has been implemented across a number of suspended NOCs during past Olympic Games,” the IOC said in its statement.

The IOC also announced an increase in its Solidarity Fund for the NOC of Ukraine to 7.5 million U.S. dollars. “The IOC EB also reaffirmed again the steadfast commitment of the entire Olympic Movement to help Ukrainian athletes in every way possible, in order to see a strong team from the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026,” it said.

The IFs at the Olympic Summit on Tuesday encouraged the IOC to make a decision on AINs as soon as possible.

The IOC reiterated that the overwhelming majority of athletes should not punish fellow athletes for the actions of their government, citing the Olympic Truce Resolution by the United Nations (UN), the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, the declaration by the Non-Aligned Movement, and the concerns of two Special Rapporteurs from the UN Human Rights Council, as key considerations. Enditem