On January 25, 2023, the IOC issued a new recommendation proposing to allow individual athletes from Russia and Belarus who are not «actively supporting» Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine to compete as «neutral athletes» Head of US Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Gene Sykes
NEW YORK, February 2. /TASS/. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s (USOPC) new chairman Gene Sykes supported the initiative of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to develop the framework allowing Russian athletes to compete internationally again.
"After listening to many athletes and constituents from around the United States, we recognize a real desire to compete against all the world’s best athletes — but only if that can happen in a way that ensures safe and fair play," Sykes wrote in his letter, which was quoted by The Associated Press on Thursday. "As such, we encouraged the IOC to continue exploring a process that would preserve the existing sanctions, ensuring only neutral athletes who are clean are welcome to compete."
According to the official, the situation is "incredibly complex." He acknowledged that the USOPC remained in solidarity with Ukraine and its athletes, and expressed "very real concern, even skepticism, about whether [conditions] can be met" to allow Russians in.
In late February 2022, the IOC issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.
On January 25, 2023, the IOC issued a new recommendation proposing to allow individual athletes from Russia and Belarus who are not "actively supporting" Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine to compete as "neutral athletes." Later, President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov noted that the IOC was not requiring that the Russian athletes condemn the special military operation.
At a regular briefing on Wednesday, White House Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said that she was not yet ready to present the Biden administration’s stance on letting Russian and Belarusian athletes compete in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.