from the FIG website
FIG Executive Committee decision concerning the participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian sporting nationality in international competitions
19/07/2023 2 MIN
The FIG Executive Committee (EC) took the following decisions today in relation to the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus on 26 February 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the measures already adopted on 1-2 March 2023.
- To reiterate its firm condemnation of the senseless invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its commitment to impose severe punishments on anyone in the international Gymnastics community who is involved in war or supports war.
- To continue to offer support to victims of the war in Ukraine.
- To respect the right of all athletes, regardless of their nationality, to be treated without discrimination.
Regarding the participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian sporting nationality in FIG sanctioned events, the FIG EC decided as follows:
- To authorise, under strict conditions, the participation of athletes and support personnel of Russian and Belarusian sporting nationality in FIG sanctioned events listed on the FIG Calendar as “individual neutral athletes” without any involvement or association with the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus, their respective National Federations or National Olympic Committees.
- To impose a strict requirement of neutrality with regard to the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus for any participation in a FIG sanctioned event.
The participation of athletes as individual neutral athletes will be accompanied by several measures, to be described in the Ad-hoc Rules, aimed at ensuring strict compliance with the neutrality requirements.
Any athlete wishing to obtain the status of “individual neutral athlete” will have to apply to the FIG in accordance with the Ad-hoc Rules. This should lead, if the conditions are met, to the granting of “individual neutral athlete” status by the FIG. Athletes who are granted this status will be eligible to participate in FIG sanctioned events from 1 January 2024.
In the field of anti-doping, the FIG will implement specific procedures in collaboration with the International Testing Agency (ITA).
Although these decisions allow a return to FIG sanctioned events for Russian and Belarusian athletes, which may include Olympic qualification events for Paris 2024, the decision on whether Russian and Belarusian athletes will be eligible to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is the responsibility of the IOC.
“By accepting Russian and Belarusian gymnasts to participate in competitions as independent neutral athletes, the FIG is ensuring that the rights of all athletes are respected and is sending a message to the world that Gymnastics is seeking peace,” said FIG President Morinari Watanabe.
As a result of this decision, the FIG EC will now finalise the Ad Hoc Rules and their supporting documents, which will be published in the coming weeks.