The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on Thursday invited Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in the 2023 Asian Games. At the Olympic Summit in December, the OCA announced its readiness to host Russian athletes at Asian sports competitions. The next Asian Games will be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou from September 23 to October 8.

On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was ready to consider the admission of Russian competitors to international tournaments under strict conditions, which includes not supporting the conflict in Ukraine.

The OCA said in a statement that the OCA

believes in the unifying power of sport and that all athletes, regardless of their nationality or the passport they hold, should be able to compete in sports competitions. 

The OCA has offered to give eligible Russian and Belarusian athletes the opportunity to take part in competitions in Asia, including the Asian Games, it said.

The organization added that it remains on standby as the IOC continues to explore, together with the International Sports Federations (ISFs), the pathway for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to competitions on strict conditions.

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