— Published 3 November 2023

Russia no longer believes

Will Russian athletes take part in the Paris 2024 Games? With less than 270 days to go until the event (D – 266 this Friday, November 3), the IOC has still not decided the question. But the Russians don’t really believe in it anymore. Vladimir Salnikov, President of the Russian Swimming Federation, told Sport Express this week that the chances of Russian swimmers taking part in the Olympics are now close to zero. “The IOC keeps insisting that there is no discrimination, but I’m puzzled by the whole thing, admitted the former middle-distance legend. What the IOC is doing right now is very clear: they’re finding reasons for us not to come. It’s obvious that they don’t want to see us. As for coming to the Games with the white flag, that’s unacceptable to me and I think it’s unacceptable to the majority of our athletes. For me, the attributes of the State are important values, without which I can’t imagine taking part in competitions. I’m not saying the Olympics are completely closed to us, but our chances of taking part are close to zero.” Thomas Bach has repeated it over the past few months: the IOC has set itself no deadline for deciding whether neutral individual athletes carrying Russian or Belarusian passports can take part in the Paris 2024 Games. But time is not on the side of a favorable decision for the two countries at war with Ukraine.