The International Olympic Committee outlined a road map Wednesday for athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete at the 2024 Paris Summer Games and the 2026 Milano Cortina Winter Games following their sanctioning over the invasion of Ukraine.
Following a meeting of its executive board, the IOC said it will maintain its ban on Russia and Belarus hosting international sporting events or sending government officials to the Olympics, but it plans to allow individual athletes from the two countries to participate "under strict conditions."
These include competing as neutral athletes without the use of their countries' names, emblems and anthems. Any athletes who have actively supported the war in Ukraine would be banned.
The stance is in line with the unifying mission of the Olympic Charter, particularly in times of war, the IOC said.
"No athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport," it said.
The likelihood of Russian and Belarusian athletes joining sporting competitions under the Olympic Council of Asia, such as the upcoming Asian Games in China, was also discussed. Placing athletes from the two countries in a geographical group in which they are less likely to meet hostility appears to have broad support.