Paris Olympics: Nordic nations want ban on Russia, Belarus competing at 2024 Games

The Nordic Olympic Committees have written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reiterate their opposition to Russian and Belarusian athletes being allowed to take part in international sports.

Last month, the IOC said athletes from Russia and Belarus might be allowed to earn slots for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games through Asian qualifying.

"Now is not the right time to consider their return - that is our position," said the Nordic nations.

Athletes from Russia and neighbouring Belarus, who aided Moscow's invasion of Ukraine a year ago, have been banned from many international competitions since, and Paris Olympic organisers say they will abide by the IOC's decision on who is allowed to take part.

The joint Nordic statement says they firmly oppose Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials being allowed to participate in international sports.

"We, the Nordic Olympic and Paralympic Committees and confederations of sports, take this opportunity to reaffirm our steadfast support once again with the Ukrainian people and the demand for peace," it said.

Last week, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland called on international sports bodies to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in the Olympics and other events, while the war in Ukraine continued.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says allowing Russia to compete at the Paris Games would be tantamount to showing that "terror is somehow acceptable".