Little by little, one after the other, the international sports federations are implementing the recommendation for the reinstatement, under a neutral banner, of Russian and Belarusian athletes formulated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The latest, the International Climbing Federation (or IFSC, for International Federation of Sport Climbingin English) announced on Monday 12 June that it has “started a process for reintegration from 2024” climbers from both countries, banned since February 2022 due to the war in Ukraine. To do this, they will need to first obtain “a neutral license”the terms of issue and control of which will be specified later.
Entering the Olympic program at the Tokyo Games in 2021, the discipline thus joins the ten Olympic sports which followed the recommendation issued in March by the IOC, in the name of non-discrimination between athletes and the separation between sport and policy.
Read also: The IOC reaffirms its desire to reinstate Russian and Belarusian athletes, but says nothing about Paris 2024
At this stage, Russians and Belarusians remain excluded from the world climbing championships, which will take place in August in Bern (Switzerland). They will also not be able to participate in the continental qualifiers for the Games, scheduled for this fall.
The IOC pleads for a reinstatement
This decision, after a month of consultations, “was not easy to take”said Marco Scolaris, President of the IFSC, reaffirming the ” farm “ condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the support of the International Climbing Federation for the Ukrainian federation.
“We are also aware that – tragically – more than a hundred armed conflicts are raging around the world”he continues, explaining that he wanted “find a balance between the different positions and establish a system that can be fairly implemented in the future” for other conflicts.
With this reinstatement, Russian and Belarusian climbers can still hope to win the last tickets for the Games, which will be awarded during the qualifying events from March to June 2024. Subject, however, to being authorized to participate in the Paris Olympics in the summer. 2024.
That decision rests with the IOC, whose president, Thomas Bach, said in March that it would be “taken in good time” – without having fixed a timetable. This is what he repeated last week during a visit to Paris. He also recalled, on this occasion, that his objective remained to reintegrate Russians and Belarusians under a neutral banner.
“No team and no delegations. These are single and neutral athletes who can be integrated (…). No Russian flag, no Russian anthem, no colors, no identification or anything”declared Mr. Bach after being received, Thursday, June 8, by Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace. “More and more international federations now apply these conditions and this formula”he also congratulated himself, saying to himself “extremely confident that the spirit of sport” prevails.
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