IOC issues initial list of 14 Russians, 11 Belarusians given neutral status for Paris Olympics

The IOC approved 14 athletes from Russia and 11 Belarusians with neutral status to compete at the Paris Olympics in a first list from some sports published Saturday.

Five sports – though not tennis, swimming or judo – were assessed by an International Olympic Committee panel judging if athletes had expressed support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine or had ties to sports clubs linked to the military or state security services.

Cycling, gymnastics, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling were assessed first and lists of athletes from other Olympic sports are likely to follow within days.

Athletes approved Saturday include the defending Olympic champion in men’s trampoline, Ivan Litvinovich from Belarus, and Russian cyclist Aleksandr Vlasov, who has three career top-10 finishes in Grand Tours.

It is still unclear how many Russian athletes will compete at the Olympics being held from July 26-Aug. 11. The IOC already barred them from taking part in the opening ceremony parade of athletes scheduled on boats sailing along the River Seine.

No athletes were approved by the IOC in taekwondo, where the Russian team took two of the eight gold medals in Tokyo three years ago by Vladislav Larin and Maksim Khramtsov.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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