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IOC calls for any events in Russia or Belarus to be moved or cancelled

Games organiser says Russian invasion of Ukraine violates the Olympic Truce.

25 February 2022 PA
IOC calls for any events in Russia or Belarus to be moved or cancelled

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International sports federations should cancel or move any events due to be staged in Russia or Belarus, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) executive board has said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has been assisted by Belarus, has attracted condemnation from around the world, including from the IOC who believe Russia’s actions violate the Olympic Truce.

The IOC’s executive board has now called on international federations to act.

‘The IOC EB today urges all international sports federations to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia or Belarus,’ a statement said.

‘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 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.

‘At the same time, the IOC EB expresses its full support to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

‘The IOC EB expresses its deep concerns about the safety of the members of the Olympic community in Ukraine and stands in full solidarity. 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 last took the Olympics to Russia in 2014. The Winter Games in Sochi were later revealed to be at the centre of a state-backed doping programme which saw the host’s Olympic body banned from future events. However, Russian athletes have been allowed to compete under an unofficial Russian banner.

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