IOC recommends return of Russian athletes to competitions

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STORY: The IOC Executive Board's recommendations concern the return of those athletes to international competitions but not the 2024 Paris Olympics where a separate decision will be taken at a later date.

However, the recommendations triggered angry reactions from countries opposed to Russian and Belarusian participation as well as from Russia, whose Olympic Committee chief, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, called them "absolutely unacceptable."

Bach told a news conference after the IOC meeting: "First of all, what is maybe most important, what has changed, is that participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in competitions and in international competitions, works."

He said the recommendations for events organizers and sports federations to follow included that Russian and Belarusian athletes can only compete as neutrals, with no flag or anthem.