LONDON: Russian and Belarusian taekwondo athletes are set to compete at next month’s world championships after the sport’s global governing body said it would allow them back as neutrals following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) guidance. The IOC issued recommendations last week for athletes from the two countries to return to international competition since their ban last year in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”. Table tennis, fencing and judo are the other Olympic sports which have readmitted Russians and Belarusians as neutrals. World Taekwondo said a review committee will oversee a verification process to “ensure strict neutrality” of individual athletes and support personnel after its ruling council met remotely for an extraordinary meeting on Monday. The South Korea-based body added that it would follow guidelines established by the IOC, which said athletes who support the war, or are contracted to their countries’ military or national security agency should be excluded. “World Taekwondo will continue to support Ukrainian athletes in ensuring they can participate in taekwondo events,” the organisation said. “The Council reaffirmed its calls for peace and solidarity with the Olympic community in Ukraine.” The world championships are scheduled to begin on May 29 in Baku. The IOC is to make a separate decision on Russian and Belarusian athletes’ participation at the Paris Olympics. Its reluctance to exclude them has been met with considerable opposition from athletes and some European governments. Ukraine’s government has said its athletes will not be allowed to take part in Paris 2024 qualifying events if they have to compete against Russians and also threatened to boycott the Games should they be allowed to compete there.