How Many Russian Athletes Will Feature at Paris Olympics 2024?

How Many Russian Athletes Will Feature at Paris Olympics 2024
How Many Russian Athletes Will Feature at Paris Olympics 2024

As the world gears up for the Paris Olympics 2024, a lingering question shadows the grandeur of the upcoming global sports event: How many Russian athletes will be able to participate amidst the ongoing geopolitical tensions? The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s sanctions in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, with Belarus’s involvement as a staging post, have led to stringent restrictions on athletes from these two nations, casting uncertainty over their participation.

Also Read: Why are Russian Gymnasts Not Participating in Olympics 2024?

The IOC’s Stance and Sanctions

In a bold move reflecting the international community’s stance against the invasion, the IOC has decided to allow a limited number of Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under tight restrictions. These athletes will participate as neutrals—without their national flags, emblems, or anthems—effectively stripping away the nationalistic pride typically associated with the Olympics.

This decision, however, has not come without its controversies. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo have openly criticized the IOC’s decision, marking it as a point of contention among the international community. The participation of these athletes is seen by some as undermining the sanctions imposed in response to the conflict in Ukraine.

How Many Russian Athletes Will Feature at Paris Olympics 2024?

John Coates, Senior Vice-President of the IOC, has voiced uncertainty regarding the exact number of Russian athletes that will make it to Paris, hinting that figures as low as 40 could be in the ballpark. The eligibility criteria further narrow the pool of potential participants, excluding those who have shown active support for the war or are contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military. This essentially rules out team sports and individuals associated with Russian military clubs.

Historical Context and Precedents

The Paris Olympics are not the first instance where Russian athletes face international sanctions. Due to doping sanctions, a significant number of them competed under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) banner in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games. The ROC has since faced suspension by the IOC for recognizing regional Olympic Councils in territories annexed from Ukraine, complicating Russia’s standing in the international sports arena.

Diverse Responses from International Sports Federations

The response to the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes has been varied across different sports. While some, like equestrian, have outright banned athletes from these countries, others, such as World Swimming and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), will allow them to compete under the IOC’s restrictions. This fragmented approach reflects the complex web of considerations that international sports federations must navigate.

What do Russian Players Think?

Despite the political backdrop, some athletes, including Russia’s world number four tennis player Daniil Medvedev, have expressed their eagerness to compete, committing to abide by the imposed rules. This highlights the individual athletes’ aspirations and professional commitments, even as they find themselves at the intersection of international diplomacy and sporting excellence.


As the Paris Olympics draw closer, the exact number of Russian and Belarusian athletes who will participate remains uncertain. What is clear, however, is the IOC’s attempt to balance the principles of neutrality and fairness in sports against the backdrop of international sanctions and geopolitical conflicts. The decision to allow a limited number of athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete as neutrals is a testament to the complex interplay between politics and sports on the global stage. As the situation evolves, the international community remains watchful, hopeful for a resolution that upholds the spirit of the Olympics while addressing the broader implications of the conflict in Ukraine.

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