— Published 27 January 2023

Asia and Europe follow the IOC’s lead

There was no uproar in the Olympic movement. The day after the IOC Executive Board announced its willingness to move forward with the possible reintegration of Russian and Belarusian athletes into international competitions, two of the continental organisations have already followed suit. The Association of Asian Olympic Committees (OCA) confirmed on Thursday (26 January) its proposal to act as a pilot by accepting athletes from both countries into its continental competitions. Russians and Belarusians could participate in the Asian Games, scheduled for this year in Hangzhou, China. The OCA said in a statement that it “supports” the IOC’s position, but that it was “awaiting” the Lausanne decision on the matter. The Association of European Olympic Committees (EOC) expressed the same support. In a statement, it stressed “the importance of removing obstacles that prevent sport from serving as a unifying force“, and “believes that athletes should not be prevented from participating in competitions solely on the basis of the passport they hold. The EOC further explains that it discussed the Russian and Belarusian issue at its last executive committee meeting on 21 January and will continue its “efforts to explore possible solutions in accordance with consultation calls held with the IOC.