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IOC says Russia, Belarus should be banned from international sporting competitions

Ukraine Invasion Russian Sports
Posted at 9:20 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 12:58:09-05

Russia is facing more isolation after invading Ukraine. The International Olympic Committee is calling for athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus to be banned from international competitions.

"In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC EB (Executive Board) recommends that International Sports Federations and sports event organizers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions," the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.

Belarus athletes are being impacted because their country has supported Russia's aggression toward Ukraine.

The IOC also states that it wouldn't be fair to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in sports while many Ukrainian athletes would be unable to do so because of the attack on their country.

If an international competition is unable to prevent a Russian or Belarusian team or athlete from competing due to logistical reasons, the events are encouraged to strip them of their affiliation with their countries.

"The IOC EB strongly urges International Sports Federations and organizers 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," the IOC said. "Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral athletes or neutral teams. No national symbols, colors, flags or anthems should be displayed."

Monday's statement appeared to have a major impact on Russian soccer. FIFA announced it would suspend all Russian national and club teams from both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.

Several countries had reportedly said they would not play Russia in qualifying matches.