UK Govt Backtracks, Supports Russia Competing in Paris Olympics

Incredibly, after a year of spearheading the uprising against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) contentious attitude, the UK government has now approved the decision to allow Russian athletes to participate in Paris 2024.

British sports minister Stuart Andrew has written to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach to convey his country’s support for neutral Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in the 2022 Summer Olympics.

There has been a sea change in policymaking from the previous administration to the present. They successfully collected 35 nations’ backing from Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer at a spring summit. As a result of the continuing crisis in Ukraine, they hoped to persuade the International Olympic Committee to maintain the ban on athletes from Russia and Belarus.

Frazer argues that Russia and Belarus’s inclusion in the Olympics is inappropriate. As an extra measure, she contacted Olympic sponsors via letter to urge their support for a ban.

On Monday night, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport emphasized that their stance had only changed after thoroughly reviewing the IOC’s stringent requirements for deciding which individuals from the two countries might participate.

No athlete may participate in Paris if they publicly support the Ukrainian crisis or are under contract with the military. Additionally, they must compete while flying a neutral flag. Furthermore, neither Russia nor Belarus may participate in any team events.

No medals won by competitors who did not participate in the event will be included in the overall medal tally. Rather than the usual Russian and Belarusian flags, a unique jade green flag will be displayed throughout the medal ceremonies. A freshly written hymn, devoid of words, will also be performed throughout the rituals.

Several Olympic sports federations, including Lord Coe’s World Athletics, have banned Russian and Belarusian athletes.

According to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) projections last month, only a few Russian and Belarusian competitors, about 36 and 22, respectively, would be allowed to compete in Paris.

The host nation, France, and the British Olympic Association have provided ongoing support for the IOC’s framework.