IOC gave an update on Russian and Belarusian athletes at Paris Olympics

There will be Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev

by Lorenzo Ciotti
IOC gave an update on Russian and Belarusian athletes at Paris Olympics
© Al Bello / Staff Getty Images Sport

James MacLeod, CEO of the International Olympic Committee, announced following a board meeting in Lausanne that 37 Russians and 22 Belarusians will be able to take part in the Paris Olympics 2024

"The group is so small because it only includes those who have not publicly supported the invasion and have no relationship with the army or military agencies," explained the IOC in a note.

It was also established that the two teams will be banned from the competition. Everyone will perform under the banner of Individual neutral athletes, with a jade green flag that will be waved only for the awards ceremony and an ad hoc anthem without lyrics.

The podiums won by these athletes will not be displayed in the medal table. Also confirmed as no Russian and Belarusian government officials will be invited or accredited.

Ultimately, some Russian and Belarusian athletes will be able to enjoy the opportunity to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympics. However, among these there will be also several tennis player who could compete in Paris.

"I will play singles and doubles: Tokyo 2021 was an extraordinary experience. It is one of the best memories of my sporting life, which I was surprised by because in our discipline we tend to think that the Slams are more important," for example stated Daniil Medvedev, recently. The Russian should be at the Paris Olympic Gmaes with his countryman Andrey Rublev.

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev© Al Bello / Staff Getty Images Sport

Among the tennis players who could get Paris Olympics there is also the Belarusians Aryna Sabalenka. But the situation of the tennis player who won the 2024 Australian Open is not yet certain.

ITF has not yet released any updates on this matter.

Making a personal consideration, the IOC has provided very precise guidelines in this regard. It remains to be seen whether Aryna Sabalenka respects and reflects those guidelines, to understand whether she can be considered a tennis player who can be admitted to play at the Paris Olympics.

Sabalenka, for example, in 2023, asked the media not to ask her any more questions about the war between Russia and Ukraine during press conferences. She once exposed herself by saying that she was against all wars.

This could be a requirement that could be enough to admit her to the Olympics but, there are many other tennis players, such as Medvede, Andrey Rublev and Daria Kasatkina, all Russian, who have always strongly opposed the war and on more than one occasion, unlike what Sabalenak did.

Last year, Aryna was highly criticized by several colleagues for never having expressly said that she was against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. That's why her situation is very borderline.

At the Miami Open, Sabalenka's arrival on the court, after her best friend Paula Badosa, undoubtedly had a certain effect on all the fans. The Belarusian and the Spanish woman took to the court wearing strictly black suits as a sign of mourning for the tragic death of the Belarusian's ex-boyfriend

Aryna was able to focus exclusively on tennis at that moment and play a difficult match against the person she loves most on the WTA circuit. The 25-year-old proved to be in better shape than the Spaniard, still not in 100% condition, and in the end she prevailed 6-4, 6-3.

In the 3rd round Aryna was defeated by Anhelina Kalinina in three sets.

Aryna Sabalenka Daniil Medvedev Andrey Rublev