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Neutral Individuals to be allowed to participate in WDSF events. 08/06/2023

Neutral Individuals.png The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) has announced its continuing full support for the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) March 28, 2023, recommendations for International Federations and International sports event organisers on the participation of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport in international competitions.

The WDSF Presidium has now held a series of discussions and a vote regarding Motions for the IOC’s recommendations to assess a careful pathway for the return to international competition of strictly neutral athletes holding one of those passports, expressing its support and agreeing to explore a schedule for the possible return of such athletes under strict conditions of eligibility, permitting only the reintegration of individuals who are able to prove established indicia of neutrality through an independent review process.

The current protective measures prohibiting the participation of Russian and Belarussian athletes in DanceSport events were put in place immediately in February 2022 following a recommendation of the IOC EB, to guarantee the safety of all athletes participating in WDSF events. Previously established sanctions preventing the hosting of events in those countries and the use of the national identity, flags and anthems of Russia and Belarus at all competitions will remain in place.

The Presidium believes that bona fide neutral athletes should be allowed to compete in DanceSport events under carefully regulated and supervised conditions, where reasonably possible. The WDSF Sport Commission has been instructed to take into account the diverse nature of DanceSport and the strong views held by WDSF's National Member Bodies, and to prepare a draft WDSF Presidium Operating Policy detailing all the necessary competition rules and stringent independent review processes required for the implementation of this plan. The Presidium will engage in ongoing consultation with the IOC and ASOIF for immediate discussion and action to finalise the independent review process necessary to ensure the return of only neutral individuals to events. The draft policy is to be submitted by the WDSF Sports Commission to the WDSF Managing Committee on or before 30th June 2023.