— Published 2 May 2023

ICF lifts suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes

The list is getting longer. A new international federation, the ICF, has announced its decision to follow the recommendation of the IOC Executive Board and lift the suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes. The world body for canoeing and kayaking joins a movement initiated in March by fencing, followed by table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling, modern pentathlon, shooting, archery, triathlon and judo. “The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has decided to allow eligible Russian and Belarusian athletes, who do not support their country’s actions in Ukraine, to compete as individual and neutral athletes,” the body said in a statement. The ICF did not disclose a specific timetable for an effective return of athletes from both countries in international competitions. An independent panel is to be set up to review all applications from Russian and Belarusian athletes wishing to compete under the guise of neutrality. The ICF board also said that officials from both countries remain suspended. They are not allowed to play any role in an ICF event.