MINSK, 30 March (BelTA) - The ITTF Executive Board has endorsed the recent statement from the International Olympic Committee regarding the participation of athletes from Belarus and Russia in competitions as neutrals, BelTA learned from the ITTF press service.
“The ITTF Executive Board endorses the recent statement from the International Olympic Committee regarding status of players with a Russian or Belarusian passport in international competitions. Table Tennis has a long history of bringing people together even when political ties have been tenuous. It can build bridges, leading to better understanding among peoples, and open the door for peacebuilding in ways that exclusion and division cannot,” the statement runs.
A pillar of the Olympic Movement remains the autonomy that sports organizations must have. They should have sole responsibility for deciding which players can participate in international competitions based on their sporting merits and not on political grounds or because of their passports. “Noting this, the ITTF supports the admission of players with a Russian or Belarusian passport to international table tennis competitions organized by the ITTF and World Table Tennis under strict conditions of neutrality. If all conditions are met, Belarusian and Russian players could participate in the May events already. As qualification for the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals Durban 2023 (20-28 May) has passed, players from Belarus and Russia will be unable to participate,” the statement says.