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Russian athletes ‘not welcome’ at Olympics – Paris mayor

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has expressed that Russian and Belarusian athletes are unwelcome at the Paris Olympics, despite being allowed to compete as neutral individuals.
Hidalgo's comments came during a visit to Ukraine, emphasizing her opposition to their participation amidst the Ukraine conflict. Despite the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) accommodation for a limited number of athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete neutrally, Hidalgo has been vocal about her preference for their absence, citing the ongoing conflict as a reason.

The mayor has also dismissed comparisons between the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and Israeli athletes due to the democratic status of Israel.

The IOC faces criticism from Russia for perceived political bias, while the Kremlin denounces the restrictions on their athletes as against Olympic ideals. Only individual events are open to athletes from Russia and Belarus, with caps on their numbers and exclusion from team events and the opening ceremony.
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