Russian and Belarusian athletes will not participate in the Asian Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has determined that the plan to allow athletes from both countries to participate in the event, which begins on September 23 in Hangzhou, China, is “not feasible.”
“The concept of allowing athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports to participate in the 2023 Asian Games was examined as discussed at the Olympic Summit in December 2022 but is not feasible for technical reasons,” reports insidethegames’ website, citing information from the IOC. Athletes from both countries have been excluded from most international sports competitions since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In July, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) voted to admit a maximum of 500 athletes from Russia and Belarus under a neutral flag. The IOC had also been investigating how athletes from both countries could participate in some Asian qualification tournaments for the Paris Olympics. A spokesperson for the OCA confirmed that the decision not to admit the athletes had been made by the IOC. Russians and Belarusians were also not welcome at the European Games earlier this year.
A decision on participation in the Paris Games will be made “in due course,” the IOC previously stated.