The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have urged sporting federations and organisations to “not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions”.
As part of a list of recommendations released today, the IOC Executive Board (EB) have said their motives relate to the inability of Ukrainians to compete as a direct result of Russia’s invasion of the eastern European country.
In a statement, the IOC said: “The current war in Ukraine puts the Olympic Movement in a dilemma. While athletes from Russia and Belarus would be able to continue to participate in sports events, many athletes from Ukraine are prevented from doing so because of the attack on their country.
“This is a dilemma which cannot be solved.
“In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC executive board recommends that international sports federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian or Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.
“Wherever this is not possible on short notice for organisational or legal reasons, the IOC EB strongly urges International Sports Federations and organisers of sports events worldwide to do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus.”
Elsewhere, the board have recommended that where it is not possible to ban athletes from the two aggressor countries, boards would be encouraged to make sure Russian and Belarusian athletes compete under neutral status – without national symbols, anthems and flags.
“Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral athletes or neutral teams. No national symbols, colours, flags or anthems should be displayed,” the IOC added.
Furthermore, with the Winter Paralympics in mind, the IOC executive board have removed the Olympic Order – its highest award – from those directly involved in the Russian government.
Russian president Vladimir Putin received the award in 2001 as president of the Russian Federation while Dmitry Chernyshenko received the award as deputy prime minister in 2014. Deputy chief of staff to the presidential office Dmitry Kozak received the award, also in 2014.
“The IOC executive board has, based on the exceptional circumstances of the situation and considering the extremely grave violation of the Olympic Truce and other violations of the Olympic Charter by the Russian government in the past, taken the ad hoc decision to withdraw the Olympic Order from all persons who currently have an important function in the government of the Russian Federation or other government-related hi-ranking position,” the IOC statement said.