— Published 29 August 2023

Russians get their colors back

A new international federation has settled the issue of Russian athletes returning to competitions. It is not an Olympic federation. And it has not followed the IOC Executive Board’s recommendations to the letter. The International Electronic Sports Federation (IESF) has opened the door to Russian competitors. Surprisingly, they will be able to compete under their own colors and flag. The Russian E-Sports Federation (RESF) told the TASS agency that the IESF had voted in favor of this decision at its annual congress on Monday August 28, with 32 votes in favor, 13 against and 25 abstentions. Reaction from Dmitry Smith, President of the Russian eSports Federation: “We’re pleased to have been able to overturn the previous decision, and our national team will finally be able to compete under its own national flag.” On April 18, 2022, the IESF had decided to deprive Russian e-athletes of their right to take part in international tournaments under their country’s flag and anthem. According to the Russian body, the IESF also voted at its congress against a proposal by the Ukrainian e-sports federation (UCEF) to ban Russia from its member federations.