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Russian and Belarusian Athletes won't compete at Asian Games

The International Olympic Committee has denied the approval for the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Asian Games.

Russian and Belarusian Athletes wont compete at Asian Games

Could Russia, one of the world's biggest sports powerhouses, shift from Europe to Asia? (File Photo)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 1 Sep 2023 4:08 PM GMT

The International Olympic Committee has denied approval for the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the upcoming Asian Games on Friday.

As reported by the Indian Express, the Olympic Council of Asia confirmed that Russian and Belarusian athletes were denied approval by the apex Olympic body.

Earlier in July, The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly revealed that up to 500 athletes from Russia and Belarus could potentially be allowed to participate in the continental showpiece.

A total of 500 athletes across 12 sports were allowed to participate without being eligible for the medals under a neutral flag but the final call always lay with the International Olympic Committee.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been largely banned from international competitions since March 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Because these two countries have been frozen out of the European tournaments, which act as Olympic qualifiers, a decision has been taken by the OCA to let them into the Asian qualification system.

With the qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics picking pace, this move comes as a huge setback for the athletes from two countries as the Asian Games offers Olympics quota in some of the sports including Boxing.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) paved the way for Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in the Paris Olympics in May this year but set some strict criteria - including the absence of national symbols. The IOC further added that only those athletes who have not participated in or supported the war will be considered.

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