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28 Feb, 2022 14:26

Olympic officials recommend total ban on Russia and Belarus

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued a statement on the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus
Olympic officials recommend total ban on Russia and Belarus

Russian and Belarusian athletes should not be invited to compete in international events across all sports, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced.

In a statement issued on Monday, the IOC said it took the decision “with a heavy heart” but said that “the current war in Ukraine… puts the Olympic Movement in a dilemma.”

“In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC EB recommends that International Sports Federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions,” the statement read.

The message added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been stripped of the Olympic Order along with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko and presidential official Dmitry Kozak.  

The IOC said that if it was not possible to remove Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from international events “on short notice or for organizational or legal reasons,” then officials should do “everything in their power” to ensure that they compete under neutral status without their flag or anthem.

“Wherever, in very extreme circumstances, even this is not possible on short notice for organisational or legal reasons, the IOC EB leaves it to the relevant organisation to find its own way to effectively address the dilemma described above,” it added.

“In this context, the IOC EB considered in particular the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and reiterated its full support for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Games.”

Since President Putin last week launched a special military operation in the newly recognized Donbass republics and in Ukraine itself, partially using bases in Belarus, Russia has faced a series of sporting sanctions. 

That includes football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA ruling that Russian teams must play home matches at neutral venues in any competitions run by the organizations. 

UEFA has also moved the 2022 Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris.