IOC: Talk of excluding Russians from ’24 Olympics is premature

Havana, Mar 3 (EFE).- The time is not right for a discussion of whether athletes from Russia will be permitted to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, International Olympic Committee (IOC) head Thomas Bach said here Friday.

“To be very clear, it’s not the time yet to speak about the Olympic Games in Paris,” he told reporters in Havana when asked about the possibility of excluding Russians in 2024 because of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s way too early to speak about any kind of boycott,” the IOC president said.

Bach, who won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics as a member of the West German fencing team, said that consultations were ongoing among the national Olympic committees and sporting federations regarding the international eligibility of athletes from Russia and Belarus.

The IOC launched the process in January with the aim of finding ways for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals.

At the end of the consultations, Bach said, the IOC will be “coming up with a recommendation.”

“It’s about the athletes,” he emphasized.

Turning to the purpose of his visit to Cuba, Bach said that a tour of the sports facilities in Havana left him “impressed.

Noting the island nation’s 233 Olympic medals (84 of them gold), he said that “Cubans can be very proud of their great successes.”

EFE jpm/dr

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