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Russia and Belarus omitted from Paris Olympics invitees

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Wednesday formally invited 203 countries, but not Russia and Belarus, to participate in the Paris Olympics which begin in a year’s time.

Bach had said in mid-July that neither Russia nor its ally in the invasion of Ukraine, Belarus, would be invited as a team.

The IOC has however left the door open for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals in the 2024 Summer Games without their teams competing.

Bach is on a three-day visit to the French capital to mark the one-year-to-go milestone on Wednesday.

“In accordance with the Olympic Charter it is my great honour and pleasure to mark this important milestone today by inviting the athletes of the world to come together in Paris, France, to celebrate the Games of the 33rd Olympiad,” Bach said.

Bach said he had “just received excellent information about the preparations for Paris 2024” after touring the construction site of the Athletes’ Village on Tuesday.

He said then that the competitors would be “very happy” in the Village.

Guatemala were not invited either because it is currently suspended from the Olympic movement due to alleged government interference with the independence of the National Olympic Committee there.

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