A limited number of Russian and Belarusian athletes will be able to compete at the Paris Olympics next summer as neutrals under "strict eligibility conditions," the International Olympic Committee said Friday.

The decision, made during a remote meeting of the IOC Executive Board, applies to athletes who do not support the war in Ukraine while removing the option of a blanket ban due to the invasion.

"Among the 4,600 athletes from around the world who have qualified for Paris 2024 so far, there are only 11 individual neutral athletes, eight with a Russian passport plus three with a Belarusian passport," the IOC said.

Photo shows the Olympic rings in front of the Paris City Hall in Paris on April 30, 2023. (AP/Kyodo)

"Athletes who actively support the war will not be eligible to be entered or to compete," it added.

"No flag, anthem, colors or any other identifications whatsoever of Russia or Belarus will be displayed at the Olympic Games in any official venue or any official function."

Ukraine's acting sports minister Matviy Bidniy reacted angrily to the IOC's decision in a Facebook post, indicating the country was reconsidering sending its own athletes to Paris.

"We strongly condemn the irresponsible decision of the executive members of the International Olympic Committee," he said.

"Regarding Ukraine's participation in the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games: we will make a decision later, after consulting with the Ukrainian sports community and the country's top political leadership."

Athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus have been barred from a number of international sporting events since Moscow launched its attack on Ukraine in February 2022.

But restrictions have been gradually eased, allowing them to return to competition.

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