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03 February 2023, 15:39

Canada supports IOC's stance on neutral athletes' participation in international events

MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) - The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) accepts the International Olympic Committee's exploration of a way for Russia and Belarus to compete in international events as neutrals under strict conditions, TASS cited a written statement of COC chief executive officer David Shoemaker published by the Canadian Press.

David Shoemaker said: “We recognize that the decision to exclude athletes solely by virtue of their nationality goes against core principles of the Olympic movement.” He also noted that Canada “is open to the exploration of a pathway for the inclusion of neutral athletes from Russia and Belarus who meet, at a minimum, the conditions set out by the IOC executive board in its January 25th, 2023 statement.”

On 25 January, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee said in its statement about the need to explore a pathway for Belarusian and Russian athletes' participation in competition as neutrals. It was noted that no athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport. The statement also included the need to explore a pathway for the participation of athletes with Belarusian and Russian passports in competition under strict conditions. No final decision has been taken yet.

The IOC mentions in its statement the UN General Assembly resolution “Sport as an enabler of sustainable development” adopted in 2022. The resolution recognizes that major international sports events “should be organized in the spirit of peace” and that “the unifying and conciliative nature of such events should be respected”.

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