The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has extended an invite to Russia and its ally Belarus to compete in the 2023 Asian Games slated to be held in Hangzhou later this year.
This development comes just a day after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) indicated that it would favour Russian athlete to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics as neutral athletes.
Russia and Belarus have been barred from almost all international competitions of Olympic Sports following the invasion of Ukraine last year.
The 2023 Asian Games is expected to act as a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics in several sports including boxing and archery.
"The OCA believes in the unifying power of sport and that all athletes, regardless of their nationality or the passport they hold, should be able to compete in sports competitions," the OCA said in a statement, as per a report in AP.
"The OCA has offered to give eligible Russian and Belarusian athletes the opportunity to take part in competitions in Asia, including the Asian Games," it added.
The decision, however, will remain on standby until the time the IOC and the international governing body of each sports finalise the condition for Russia and Belarus to compete.