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Authorities accused of U-turn after accepting Russian and Belarusian athletes at Olympics | Politics Information

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The UK authorities has been accused of a U-turn after accepting Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete on the 2024 Olympics.

Final 12 months, Tradition Secretary Lucy Frazer stated athletes “funded by their states” or “who’re in receipt of funding or sponsorship straight aligned to their states” can’t be thought-about impartial within the context of the invasion of Ukraine.

Britain is a part of a coalition of like-minded nations which had referred to as for a ban on such athletes resulting from this funding.

However the authorities has now confirmed it agrees with the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) that Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete beneath a impartial banner on the upcoming Paris Games.

Ms Frazer stated on Friday these athletes might be participating beneath the “strictest neutrality situations potential”.

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After the place was revealed by The Occasions earlier this month, there have been accusations of a authorities U-turn on the problem.

Richard Caborn, who was sports activities minister between 2001 and 2007, stated: “It is a humiliating U-turn by Frazer after her forceful speech one 12 months in the past to the Council of Europe setting out why Britain ought to help the overall ban of Russian athletes collaborating within the Paris Olympics.”

In her speech final 12 months, Ms Frazer stated the IOC’s suggestions did “not go far sufficient”, and that a group of more than 30 nations had raised concerns.

The federal government has rejected the suggestion that it modified course following an IOC risk to forestall the UK from internet hosting Olympic qualifying occasions.

Ms Frazer stated on Friday that she and sports activities minister Stuart Andrew are “personally dedicated to supporting Ukraine within the face of Putin’s unlawful invasion”.

They stated it was for every sporting physique, just like the IOC, to make their very own determinations.

Ms Frazer added: “However our place is evident. Putin’s regime doesn’t should see its athletes line up on the beginning blocks of races or stand on podiums throughout medal ceremonies as representatives of their nations.

“This has by no means been about punishing particular person Russian or Belarusian athletes.

“What we stand in opposition to is athletes competing representing the states of Russia and Belarus.

“We proceed to vigorously oppose Russian and Belarusian state participation. Our coverage has by no means been a whole and whole ban on impartial athletes from Russia and Belarus collaborating in any respect.”

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Contained in the Paris Olympic village

The minister identified Russians and Belarusians have been capable of compete as neutrals in tennis competitions.

She insisted the efforts of the federal government and coalition have been targeted on urging Olympic organisers to “change their method, apply the strictest neutrality situations potential and guarantee they’re applied rigorously”.

“After two years of concerted lobbying, they’ve finished that. And the result’s that the variety of athletes from Russia and Belarus anticipated to take part within the Olympics is within the tens, not tons of.

“Consequently, now we have written to the IOC and Worldwide Paralympic Committee noting that their ultimate neutrality guidelines for Paris obtain the extensively accepted baseline of guaranteeing that Russia and Belarus aren’t represented as states in worldwide sport.”

The IOC expects as many as 54 Russian athletes to compete in Paris.

They will be unable to compete in staff disciplines, can not compete in Russian colors or beneath the Russian flag and medals is not going to be included collectively in a desk.

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The IOC is leaving it as much as the person sports activities to make selections on whether or not to permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete whilst neutrals – World Athletics, for example, has imposed an outright ban.

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