Russian and Belarusian cyclists eligible for Paris 2024

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has revealed a list of Russian and Belarusian athletes cleared to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Among these athletes are four road cyclists: Aleksandr Vlasov from Bora Hansgrohe, Tamara Dronova of Roland, Alena Ivanchenko from UAE Team ADQ, and Belarusian rider Hanna Tserakh of BTC City Ljubljana Zhiraf Ambedo. All will compete as Individual Neutral Athletes (IANs).

Russian and Belarusian athletes have faced UCI sanctions since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, backed by Belarus, on 1 March 2022. Despite this, the IOC decided that qualified athletes selected by them and their International Federations can compete as Individual Neutral Athletes. This decision extends to World Championships, World Cups, Nations Cups, and other UCI events.

Alexandr-Vlasov-among-four-cyclists-from-Russia-Belarus-eligible-to-compete-at-Paris-Olympics
Aleksandr Vlasov

An Individual Neutral Athlete Eligibility Review Panel (AINERP) was established in March 2024 to assess the eligibility of each athlete and their support staff. According to an IOC statement, athletes supporting the war or contracted to Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies are ineligible to compete. The panel benefited from new information, including official lists of athletes affiliated with military and security sports clubs in Russia and Belarus.

The athletes named span various sports such as gymnastics, weightlifting, and wrestling. However, no athletes were declared eligible for Taekwondo, despite having quota places for Russian and Belarusian athletes. In cycling, the full quota was filled.

Hanna Tserakh
Hanna Tserakh

The road cycling events at the Paris Olympic Games begin on Saturday, 27 July, with the time trials. The men’s road race is set for 3 August, followed by the women’s road race on 4 August. The men’s road race will cover 273km with 2800m of elevation gain, while the women’s race will span 158km with 1700m of elevation gain.

Previously, there was an issue with the registration of Maria Novolodskaya as a UCI athlete after it transpired she held a rank in the Russian army as part of her support network. This is quite common in women’s cycling with other riders also technically part of their armed forces or police forces to receive support when women’s cycling saw lower wages at all levels of the sport.