Following the Mid-Year Meeting of the World Sailing Council, the World Sailing Board has met to consider the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in response to guidance for International Federations from the International Olympic Committee.
All Council Members, attending the Mid-Year Meeting as elected representatives of World Sailing’s Member National Authorities, were given the opportunity to offer their region’s view. Although there was no formal vote, there was very clear majority support for maintaining World Sailing’s current position in relation to the return to international competition for athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus.
After considering all views expressed in the meeting by World Sailing Council Members, the Board has agreed the following:
- The Board continues to support the IOC’s guidance and the Fundamental Principles of Olympism in the Olympic Charter; and equally the key principles of non-discrimination of athletes, and the separation of sport and politics highlighted by both the IOC Executive Board and ASOIF Council. The Board recognises that the Fundamental Principles of Olympism inform the IOC’s recommendation to allow the return of Russian and Belarusian competitors as individual neutral athletes.
- Given the timing of the return is a matter for the International Federations, the Board’s decision remains consistent: April 2024 is the targeted opportunity for sailors with a Russian or Belarusian passport to return to international competition as neutrals. With regards to Olympic qualification, the Semaine Olympique Française (SOF), is an event at this time and presents opportunities for sailors with a Russian or Belarusian passport to compete as individual neutrals in qualifying for Paris 2024.
- World Sailing remains wholly committed to supporting Ukraine’s sailing community through what continues to be an unimaginably difficult time.