Russia is facing a ban from the Paris Olympics as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, Sir Craig Reedie has alerted.
Reedie, an influential International Olympic Committee figure for around 30 years, believes there is little chance of Russia and Belarus being allowed back soon into an international sport.
Reedie mentioned most Russian and Belarusian athletes and teams now face a second problem- being unable to compete in those events where qualifying places are on offer for the 2024 Games.
Reedie, who headed the World Anti-Doping Agency when it investigated Russian doping, added the issue of Russia’s participation in Paris was now the “$64,000 question.”
He stated, “I am afraid a decision is going to have to be taken on what happens to each of these two nations. And I guess that the general feeling would be that they should not qualify.”
“I think most people are struggling with how we could achieve some degree of representation. At the moment, there is no clear way to do it. Therefore, you have maintained the status quo.”
That was set by the IOC in February when it has recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes should be banned from taking part in international events “to save the integrity of global sports competitions & for the safety of all the participants.”
Reedie asserted that more than four months on, that view was still widely shared. The rare exceptions have been cycling, judo and tennis, which have allowed Russians to compete internationally as individuals, although Wimbledon instituted a ban.
He added, “However, the problem now comes that roughly two years before the Games, the qualifying period starts as set by the international federations and the IOC. So there’s a real issue for the federations, who have a clear instructions which they have agreed to that they won’t invite Russians and Belarusians to take part in events.