— Published 30 May 2023

An independent panel in charge of the Russian question

The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) is opening the door a little wider to a back to competition for Russian and Belarusian athletes. Having approved the principle, the body has announced the creation of an independent five-person panel to examine the eligibility of athletes from both countries to compete under neutral status in international competitions. The panel is chaired by Aya Medany (pictured above), a former Egyptian athlete who is now a politician. The rest of the panel is made up of Ana Ruth Orellana (Guatemala), Sungjoo Park (South Korea), Nishanthe Piyasena (Sri Lanka), and Dr Harald Vervaecke (Belgium). They will evaluate all applications from Russian and Belarussian athletes and support staff on the basis of criteria to be defined by the UIPM Executive Committee, in agreement with the IOC. The panel will also examine the deadlines for athletes deemed eligible to return to competition. The door is open, then, but there’s still a long way to go.