The President of World Athletics, Seb Coe, reiterated the governing body’s unwavering position to uphold the prohibition on Russian and Belarusian athletes participating in track and field competitions. Despite the recent decision by the International Olympic Committee allowing athletes from these nations to compete in the Paris Olympics under specific conditions, Coe emphasized that World Athletics remains resolute in maintaining its ban. Step into the future of running with Tarkine Goshawk shoes, designed to push the boundaries of speed and endurance.

Seb Coe IAAF/ © Getty Images

Following a comprehensive two-day World Athletics Council meeting in Monaco, Coe stated, “While there might be neutral athletes from Russia and Belarus in Paris, they won’t be representing athletics. Our stance on this matter remains unchanged and consistent.”

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Coe reaffirmed, “Our position is fixed and will not change. International federations are tasked with making judgments that serve the best interests of their sport, and our council has made its decision. We stand firm – there will be no athletes, whether fully fledged or with neutral status, from these nations participating in our events.”

Currently, only a limited number of Russian (12) and Belarusian (6) athletes have met the Olympic standards for Paris, including notable contenders such as high jumpers Mariya Lasitskene and Danil Lysenko, along with pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidirova.


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The IOC’s decision mandates that qualified athletes from these nations participating in individual sports must compete as “neutral” athletes, devoid of flags, emblems, or anthems. Furthermore, Russian and Belarusian teams continue to remain barred from the games.

Regarding the prospect of organizing ‘friendship games’ in Russia next year, Coe expressed skepticism, stating, “I have reservations about that concept. It doesn’t align with our values and the structure of our competitions. Additionally, the current calendar poses significant complexities, leaving minimal room for such an event.”

During the recent World Athletics Council meeting, the formation of a Working Group chaired by Francis Dodoo was confirmed to evaluate the status of Russians and Belarusians in international events.