clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Olympics confirm Russian athletes can compete in Paris

IOC says individual-sport Russian athletes can qualify as long as they haven’t supported the invasion of Ukraine.

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 11
Russia’s Olympic-medal-winning gymnast Nikita Nagornyy could be banned from the Paris Summer Olympics as he is involved with the Russian military.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee confirmed this week.

It’s been a hotly debated topic, whether Russian athletes would be barred from competing in Paris due to the country’s illegal invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Russia has also outlawed LGBTQ activism in the country, prompting Outsports co-founder Jim Buzinski to advocate for the banning of all Russian athletes from the Paris Olympic Games.

Russia remains banned from team sports, and the individual-sport athletes will not be competing under Russia’s flag, but instead as Neutral Athletes.

There is one catch. The Russian athletes have to be verified as “neutral” on their country’s war against Ukraine, meaning they cannot be involved in the Russian military, and they cannot have actively and publicly supported the war.

“Athletes who actively support the war will not be eligible to be entered or to compete,” the IOC said in a statement. “Support personnel who actively support the war will not be entered.”

However, there is no indication that they have to have refrained from publicly hating on or harassing LGBTQ people. No one should be surprised, as the IOC welcomes countries that put people to death for being gay.

The 2024 Summer Olympic Games take place in Paris, France, July 26 to August 11. After the Tokyo Summer Olympics had at least 186 publicly out LGBTQ athletes competing in 2021, Paris is expected to have 250 to 300 out athletes.