18 Jul 2023 19:55

IOC decision on Russian, Belarusian participation in Paris Olympics expected by Sept earliest - organizing committee

MOSCOW. July 18 (Interfax) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide whether to invite Russians and Belarusians to the Summer Olympic Games in Paris no sooner than September, the head of the games' organizing committee Tony Estanguet said on Tuesday.

"I understood from the IOC that that decision will be made in September 2023 at the earliest. We will know more about this by the end of the summer," Estanguet was quoted by the Insidethegames website as saying.

With regard to Paralympic athletes from the two countries, he said he was expecting a decision by the International Paralympic Committee in October.

"There is a session in October - will a decision be made then? But we are not responsible for this decision process," Estanguet said.

For his part, IOC President Thomas Bach said there was no decision on the matter yet.

"Right now, it is more to monitor the situation on the field of play with the rules are respected, the conditions are respected by everybody. At the later stage, we can take further decisions," Bach told a press conference when asked if Russian and Belarusian athletes would be allowed to take part in the Olympics.

On July 13, the IOC said it would send out invitations to participants, excluding Russia, Belarus and Guatemala, on July 26.

The Games are due to open on July 26, 2024. As a rule, the IOC Executive Board sends invitations to participants a year before the start of the Olympics.