Russian, Belarusian athletes barred from Olympics opening amid tensions

Russian, Belarusian athletes barred from Olympics opening amid tensions

The International Olympic Committee has announced that athletes from Belarus and Russia will not participate in the opening ceremony of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, athletes from both nations were prohibited from competing. Athletes who qualify for the Games from Belarus and Russia, however, may compete as neutrals. A decision about their participation in the closing ceremony will be made later. As individual athletes, they will have an opportunity to experience the event, the IOC stated, they will not be included in the opening ceremony.

Decision to Ban Athletes:

Of the 6,000 quota spots that have already been allotted, 12 individual neutral athletes holding a Russian passport and 7 individual neutral athletes holding a Belarusian passport have qualified for Paris 2024 thus far. Their presence in the Games in Paris this summer is contingent upon their competing without national flags, symbols, or anthems.

A day after Olympic chiefs banned its athletes from the opening ceremony, it was “outraged” by the conditions imposed on its athletes by the International Olympic Committee.  the Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova declared, “We are outraged by the unprecedented discriminatory conditions imposed by the International Olympic Committee.” Russia’s proposal to hold the “Friendship Games” has been referred to by the IOC as “a cynical attempt” by the nation to politicize sport. Russia intends to host the competition in September of this year, and plans call for a winter Games in 2026.

Reactions from Russian and Belarusian authorities

Following their boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the Soviet Union and eight other nations organized the inaugural Friendship Games. The IOC went on, “The Russian government has initiated a highly aggressive diplomatic assault by contacting nations worldwide through government delegations, ambassadors, ministerial representatives, and other governmental bodies. By purposefully avoiding the sports organizations in their target nations, they are drawing even more attention to their strictly political objective. 

This is a flagrant transgression of many UN resolutions in addition to the Olympic Charter. It is a cynical attempt by the Russian Federation to politicize sport. “Total disrespect for the global anti-doping standards and the integrity of competitions” is another thing the Russian government is displaying, it was stated. Athletes who are compelled to compete in the Friendship Games may encounter unwarranted pressures, such as the possibility of being “exploited as part of a political propaganda campaign,” according to the IOC.

Impact on athletes

In the conflict between Russia and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a new turning point has been reached. On the first day of its executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, the IOC resolved to bar athletes from Belarus and Russia from participating in the march of delegations along the Seine during the July 26 opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. A decision on the closing ceremony will be taken later. Given Russia’s persistent attempts to undermine the Lausanne-based organization since it was expelled from international sports following the start of hostilities in Ukraine at the end of February 2022, this move is noteworthy. 

Call to action: Boycott Paris Olympic 2024

Boycott Paris Olympics 2024 urges against participation due to French racism and privacy violations, citing AI surveillance and police brutality. Concerns over security and discrimination prompt a call to pressure the French government. With athletes from Russia and Belarus barred from the opening ceremony, tensions heightened, challenging Olympic integrity.


In conclusion, Prior to the Paralympics beginning in Paris on August 28, little over two weeks after the Olympics, athletes from both nations were prohibited from attending the opening ceremony. Athletes from Belarus and Russia are allowed to compete as neutrals as long as they do not openly support the conflict in Ukraine, according to an IOC suspension of Russia from the 2024 Games that was announced in December. Many Olympic sports have loosened regulations in the last year, enabling athletes from both nations to compete again in specific circumstances.



What You Need to Know About VoteStart

The perfect way to get a head start in your upcoming political campaign.

2976 Washington St
San Francisco, CA 94115

Follow us:

Chip in now, every dollar helps in the crtical final moments of this campaign.

Fiona Anderwood