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25 Feb, 2022 16:25

IOC calls for global ban on Russian flag and anthem at sports events

The IOC wants the Russian anthem and flag banned across the sporting world
IOC calls for global ban on Russian flag and anthem at sports events

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has called upon sporting bodies to ban the Russian flag and anthem from sporting competition and cancel or relocate events due to take place in Russia in a response to the ongoing military action in Ukraine.

An IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting also implored International Sports Federations to take the same action against Belarus.

A statement issued on the IOC website asks for any international sports events that are not already part of sanctions mandated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against Russia to adhere to the proposal. 

Russian athletes have been competing under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) banner following sanctions originally imposed by WADA in 2019 amid accusations of an engagement in a high-level doping campaign. 

"They should take the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarussian governments into account and give the safety and security of the athletes absolute priority," the organization said. "The IOC itself has no events planned in Russia or Belarus.

"In addition, the IOC EB urges that no Russian or Belarussian national flag be displayed and no Russian or Belarussian anthem be played in international sports events which are not already part of the respective World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sanctions for Russia."

The board pledged its full support to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) ahead of the Paralympic Games in Beijing, which begin on March 4.

It had previously been announced that Russian athletes will be permitted to compete at the Games in spite of the international condemnation of the military campaign which has seen Russia removed as host of this season's Champions League final, among other measures taken by sporting authorities.

"The IOC EB expresses its deep concerns about the safety of the members of the Olympic Community in Ukraine and stands in full solidarity," the statement added.

"It notes that the special IOC task force is in contact with the Olympic Community in the country to co-ordinate humanitarian assistance where possible.

"The IOC EB asks the task force to continue to closely monitor the situation and to keep the IOC EB informed and updated, also with regard to potential amendments of today’s resolution."