Misc Tennis

Russian, Belarusian tennis players can enter Olympics as neutrals

Russian, Belarusian tennis players can enter Olympics as neutrals

Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be allowed to enter the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris as neutrals, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) confirmed Wednesday.

The ITF said players from Russia and Belarus would be allowed to enter in “an individual and neutral capacity” if they met the selection and eligibility requirements as well as comply with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations.

“The ITF decision aligns with the majority of International Federations (IFs) regarding individual competition and athletes participating in the Paris 2024 Games this summer,” the tennis world governing body said in a statement.

Russians and Belarusians were banned from competing internationally following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, for which Belarus has been used as a staging ground.

In March last year, however, the IOC issued a set of recommendations for international sports federations to allow competitors from these countries to return.

The neutral athletes will compete without flags, emblems or anthems. Athletes who actively support the war in Ukraine are not eligible, nor are those contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military.

Tennis players already compete on the ATP/WTA tours as neutrals.

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