Olympic games
Olympic gamesReuters

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from taking part in the Paris Olympics opening ceremony

AP News discloses that the IOC has laid out a vetting procedure for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be granted neutral status, with requirements including that they must not have publicly supported the invasion of Ukraine, or be affiliated with military or state security agencies.

The IOC said it expects about 36 neutral athletes with Russian passports and 22 with Belarus passports to qualify for the Paris Games.

Sky Sports reports that athletes who do qualify from these countries will be competing as independent athletes, without their flags, emblems and anthems.