The International Cycling Union (UCI) has forbidden Olympic medallists Anastasia Voynova and Maria Novolodskaya from competing again.
Russian and Belarusian cyclists who meet specific requirements will be allowed to compete as individual neutral athletes starting today, according to a decision made by the UCI earlier this month.
Riders who have shown support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine in interviews or on social media, or who have served in the military, are not permitted to return.
If they have participated in pro-war rallies or displayed the “Z” symbol, which denotes support for the invasion, they will also be denied entry.
The paralympic cyclist Alexey Obydennov has also been hindered in addition to the two Olympians.
However, Gleb Syritsa and Alexei Medvedev have been given the all-clear to compete again.
It indicates that they will be eligible to compete at the UCI Cycling World Championships, which will be held in Glasgow in August and mark the first time that all cycling disciplines will be conducted in the same location.
Alongside Daria Shmeleva, Voynova, 30, won silver in the team sprint event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
In the same competition at Tokyo 2020, the couple again paired together to take home bronze.
Additionally, Voynova has four world championships to her name—two in the team sprint and two in the 500-meter time trial.
She won both the sprint and the team sprint gold medals at the 2019 European Games in Minsk.
Novolodskaya, who has participated on both the road and the track, earned bronze in the madison with Gulnaz Khatuntseva in Tokyo 2020.
At the European Games in Minsk, the 23-year-old finished third in the same competition.
In the men’s solo pursuit C3 event, Obydennov previously held the world record while competing at the London 2012 Paralympics.
While Medvedev competes in the mountain bike event, 23-year-old Syritsa won gold in the team pursuit event in Minsk.
The UCI continues to forbid national teams, but allowing individual riders from Russia and Belarus to compete.
It revised its position in response to a recommendation made by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in March, which stated that certain Russian and Belarusian athletes should be permitted to compete again, provided they are not overtly in favor of the invasion of Ukraine or connected to the military.
This reversed the initial IOC position, which called for an outright suspension following Vladimir Putin’s invasion in February 2022.
The Ukrainian Cycling Federation and its athletes will now get financial support from the UCI, which has donated CHF100,000 (£89,000/$112,000/€101,000).
Additionally, it has promised to accommodate Ukrainian cyclists at its World Cycling Center in Aigle, Switzerland, who want to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympics.