Belarus President Lukashenko BANNED from attending Olympic Games
The Olympic bosses decided to act against the Belarusian president after receiving multiple complaints of discrimination against the country’s athletes over their political views. Two other sports officials faced similar restrictions, with one of them being Lukashenko’s son Viktor, who is the committee’s first vice president.
Belarus has been rocked by widespread protests since the August presidential election, which the opposition claimed were rigged by Lukashenko. Some of the country’s top athletes have sided with the demonstrators, who the authorities claim are being instigated by the West. As such, they have faced the consequences of the police crackdown.Also on rt.com ‘Do we live in primitive society?’ Belarusian Olympic legend Domracheva reacts after brother is 'beaten up' by police
The leadership in Minsk “has not appropriately protected the Belarusian athletes from political discrimination within the NOC [National Olympic Committee], their member federations, or the sports movement,” IOC President Thomas Bach said as he announced the provisional sanctions on Monday.
Such behavior contradicted the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter, which harmed the reputation of the whole Olympic movement, he added.
The IOC also froze all payments to the Belarusian NOC. The scholarships for the athletes preparing for the Olympics will from now on be transferred directly to them.
Bach pointed out that sanctions on Lukashenko and the NOC wouldn’t affect the Belarusian athletes or impede their chance of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, which have been rescheduled to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, or the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.
The IOC head also called upon international sports federations to cancel any international events hosted by Belarus. This means Minsk may lose next year’s World Ice Hockey Championships, with Bach saying that the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has already initiated a procedure against the head of the Belarusian hockey federation, who is also an NOC member.Also on rt.com Neutral flag? Belarus 'could face Olympic sanctions' over allegations of political discrimination against athletes
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