Despite the news the Russian men’s and women’s volleyball teams will not be participating in the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament, the country’s volleyball federation is optimistic their teams may still be able to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that of the 24 nations have been invited to participate in the Olympic qualifying tournaments, the two Russian squads have been omitted and marked as “not eligible to participate,”
“We can still get to the Olympic Games based on rating, and the chances of this are quite high,” a spokesperson told TASS on Thursday.
“We are limited by the inability to play in international competitions. But we will count on the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games until the very end.”
The qualification tournaments for the men’s and women’s volleyball tournaments will be held in September and October of 2023 respectively. The draw for the next year’s competitions will be held on December 19.
The FIVB tournaments next fall will determine the six countries who will automatically qualify for the Paris 2024. France has already secured a place as the host country of the event.
There will be five additional teams named for the Olympics, which will be allocated based on the FIVB world rankings. As both the Russian men and women are ranked inside the top ten, it would reason both teams may find passage to Paris despite being left out of the qualifying tournaments.
According to Gennady Shipulin, the vice-president of the Russian Volleyball Federation, the country’s participation in the Olympic qualifying tournament could still be reconsidered.
“Of course I have a negative attitude to decisions like this. The suspension of Russian athletes is unfair. There’s this attitude towards Russia everywhere now,” said the official.
“Many athletes, competitors, federations do not agree with the absence of our athletes in the international arena.”
The Russian men’s volleyball team is currently ranked fifth in the world, while the women’s team is eighth.
The men’s team won silver in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, losing to France in the final.
Russia’s men were gold medalists at the London Games in 2012, and won bronze in the 2016 Rio Games.
Despite their high world ranking the Russian women’s team last Olympic medal was in 2004 in Athens when they won silver.