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IOC calls on federations to exclude Russia and Belarus

February 28, 2022

The IOC has called on sports federations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes from international events. This is the latest response from the sporting world to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Olympic rings
The IOC says Moscow had violated the 'Olympic Truce'Image: Michael Kappeler/dpa/picture alliance

In a statement issued on Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said its executive board "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."

If this was not possible for "organisational or legal reasons," the IOC said it was calling on sports officials to do "everything in their power" to prevent the two countries' athletes from taking part under the name of Russia or Belarus. 

This is a matter of particular urgency with the Paralympic Games set to open on Friday in Beijing.

The IOC said it had also withdrawn the Olympic Order, its highest award, from all high-ranking Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin.

Last week, the IOC had urged all international sports federations to cancel upcoming events in Russia, after Moscow had violated the "Olympic Truce" with its attack on Ukraine.

The suspension would cover all Russian national teams – including the women's team, who are due to play in the Women's Euros in England in July.  

pfd/ai (AFP, Reuters)