BERLIN: Russian and Belarusian athletes will not compete in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) concluded that the plan was “not feasible”, reported German news agency dpa.
“The concept of the participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in the Asian Games 2023 was explored as discussed in the Olympic Summit in December 2022, but held not to be feasible due to technical reasons,” the insidethegames news portal quoted the IOC as saying.
In July, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) voted at its general assembly to allow up to 500 athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete in the Asian Games as neutrals.
The IOC then agreed to explore a proposal for athletes from both nations to take part in some of OCA’s Paris 2024 qualifying events.
However, an OCA spokesman told insidethegames that there would be “no Russian and Belarusian athletes (at the Asian Games), and it is IOC’s decision, not OCA”.
Russian and Belarusian athletes were unable to compete in the European Games earlier this year.
The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is set to run from Sept 23 to Oct 8.
The IOC initially banned Russia and Belarus from international sports events after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
However, a few months ago, it recommended that sports federations allow Russians and Belarusians to return as neutral athletes in individual events, and under strict conditions.
The recommendation, however, does not concern the athletes’ participation in the Summer Olympics in Paris next year and Winter Olympics Milano Cortina in 2026.
A decision on the matter will be taken “at the appropriate time”, the IOC said.
Last month, the IOC sent invitations to Paris 2024 to 203 eligible nations. Guatemala, which is currently suspended, as well as Russia and Belarus, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, were excluded.