— Published 7 September 2023

Over a hundred athletes have changed their flag

The decision on the participation of Russian athletes in the Paris 2024 Games has still not been taken by the IOC, and will not be for several months, but Russia has done its sums. According to Deputy Sports Minister Alexey Morozov, no fewer than 26 of the 39 disciplines on next year’s Olympic programme in France have given the green light to the conditional reinstatement of Russian athletes in international competitions. Swimming (World Aquatics) and badminton (BWF) have recently joined the list. In the opposite camp, athletics, surfing and equestrian sports remain opposed to their return to the international scene. For team sports, the question no longer arises, as the IOC Executive Board has ruled out Russian participation in team sports and disciplines. But Alexey Morozov admitted as much on Wednesday 6 September: “We are well aware of the situation and realise that in the majority of sporting competitions, our teams will not be able to take part. The deputy sports minister also confided on Wednesday in Moscow that more than 100 Russian athletes had decided to change their sporting nationality and join another country since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. Of these, 55 are from Olympic disciplines. But Alexey Morozov made it clear that the athletes and/or their adopted country would have to reimburse Russia for all or part of the costs incurred by the State in training the athletes.