The Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Olympic Committees have sent a joint letter to the International Olympic Committee. EOK

The Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Olympic Committees have sent a joint letter to the International Olympic Committee regarding the eligibility of Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Paris 2024 Games and their presence at the Opening Ceremony.

The Baltic Olympic Committees expressed their firm conviction that the decision to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in the Olympic Games is unacceptable while an active war is taking place in Ukraine. 

The Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Olympic Committees stressed the importance of a transparent implementation procedure for the decision that athletes from these countries can only participate in the Olympic Games as Neutral Individual Athletes (NIA). 

They stated that they understood that their opinion was not universally shared, and that they accepted the plurality of views that led to the decision as it stands, but that in such a case they considered it all the more necessary. They underlined "the utmost importance of a competent, transparent, accountable, fair and comprehensible implementation process for the said decision, to maintain the credibility of those who have taken it, as well as of all organisations and individuals who comply with it".

To achieve this, the Baltic National Olympic Committees urged that a technical document, if available, or a comprehensive description of the procedure to be used to assess the eligibility of individual NADOs before the Olympic Games and to monitor the situation afterwards, to eliminate any traces of ineligibility or inappropriate behaviour, whether by the athletes or their state authorities, be made available to the National Olympic Committees and the general public as soon as possible.

"One single incident would be enough to turn the Olympic Games into a platform for supporting war. Let us make sure that this does not happen," the Baltic Olympic Committees concluded.

The letter continues:

The National Olympic Committees of the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as our entire sports communities, are appalled by the two-year-old war on the territory of Ukraine.

Together, we reiterate our disagreement and disapproval with the decision of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee to allow individual neutral athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

We firmly support the previously expressed position of the National Olympic Committees of the Baltic States and we are truly convinced that they cannot take part in the Opening Ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games under any circumstances.

Estonian Olympic Committee: Urmas Sõõrumaa.
Latvia Olympic Committee: Janis Buks.
Lithuanian Olympic Committee: Daina Gudzineviciute.