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Bach: The IOC is looking for opportunities to include athletes from Russia and Belarus

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is investigating ways to include athletes from Russia and Belarus in international competition and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

– We must find a way to overcome this dilemma, and be true to our mission. Sanctions remain in place, but we still need to protect the integrity of international events. This is a situation we must overcome. International competition must be fair and for everyone, said IOC President Thomas Bach, according to the DPA news agency.

Bach told a news conference that the matter had been thoroughly discussed by the executive board during the three days of meetings that ended on Wednesday.

Talks between the IOC, athlete representatives, International Sports Federations (IF) and National Olympic Committees (NOC) will continue at an Olympics summit scheduled from Friday and the following days.

Bach quoted UN General Assembly President Csaba Körösi last week’s statement that “it is more promising if countries compete on the sports field than on the battlefield.”

Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from most international sports federations since the invasion of Ukraine in February. (NTB)

Britney Kirk

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