PARIS: World Triathlon said it supports the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) guidance on Russian and Belarusian athletes by allowing them to compete as neutrals, adding that it is working on a review process for entrants from the two countries. The IOC issued recommendations last week for athletes from Russia and Belarus to return to international competition since their ban last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”. Table tennis, swimming, fencing, judo and taekwondo are among the Olympic sports which have taken steps to readmit Russians and Belarusians as neutrals, while the International Equestrian Federation has upheld a ban. “Sanctions were put in place at the start of March 2022 following the recommendation by the IOC and the principles of the Olympic Charter to guarantee the safety of all athletes participating in World Triathlon events,” the body said in a statement. “Today’s decision was taken in order to develop a pathway for independent neutral athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports as well as officials from both countries to participate in the sport. “World Triathlon is working with the IOC and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations to develop the independent review process necessary for any athlete or official from the two countries to attend an event.” The 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series begins in Yokohama, Japan in May. The IOC is to make a separate decision on the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the 2024 Games at a later date, while Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Games if Russians are allowed to compete there.