Archery-Russian and Belarusian archers to be allowed to return as neutrals

  • Archery
  • Saturday, 22 Apr 2023

FILE PHOTO: Volunteers take down the archery arrow target posters and cover up the target boards as the Olympic archery draws to a close after nine days of games at Yumenoshima Archery Field, during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 31, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

(Reuters) - Russian and Belarusian archers will be allowed to compete in individual international competitions as neutrals this year, the sport's global federation said on Friday.

The World Archery Federation (WA) first banned Russian and Belarusian competitors in March last year after Russia invaded Ukraine, initially using its ally Belarus as a staging ground in what Russia called a "special military operation".

In March, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that athletes from Russia and Belarus be allowed to return to competition as neutrals, if they did not support the war or were not affiliated to the military.

"The board expressed its support and agreed to explore a timeline for the return of these athletes under strict conditions of eligibility," WA said in a statement.

Table tennis, pentathlon, fencing, judo and taekwondo are among other Olympic sports which have readmitted athletes from Russia and Belarus as neutrals.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

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