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IOC allowed 25 Russians and Belarusians to participate in Paris Olympics

IOC allowed 25 Russians and Belarusians to participate in Paris Olympics Illustrative photo (photo: Getty Images)

The first batch of 25 Russian and Belarusian athletes was cleared on Saturday to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris. Others failed the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) vetting process due to Russia's war against Ukraine, according to Reuters.

Fourteen athletes from Russia have been cleared to participate in the games out of 24 allocated spots, while 11 athletes from Belarus have been approved out of 17 spots.

The IOC stated that in some sports, Russia and Belarus will have athletes to fill their allotted quotas, but in other sports, no athletes from either country met the eligibility criteria following the vetting process.

What the vetting process entails

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the IOC initially recommended banning athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus from international competitions. However, it later allowed them to qualify for the 2024 Paris Games under neutral status.

Each qualified athlete must undergo vetting by a three-member commission appointed by the IOC to ensure they meet eligibility criteria.

These criteria include not actively supporting the war against Ukraine and not having a contract with any military or law enforcement agencies.

The IOC stated it expects to see about 36 Russian and 22 Belarusian athletes competing as neutrals in Paris.

The maximum number, depending on qualification standards and country quotas, which is unlikely to be achieved, would be 54 and 28, respectively.

Many within the IOC expect the Russian Federation to challenge this decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.