Sporting sanctions on Russia ‘non-negotiable’: IOC

The International Olympic Committee insisted Tuesday that the sporting sanctions on Russia and Belarus, imposed over the invasion of Ukraine, were “non-negotiable”.

The head of Russia’s Olympic Committee said earlier Tuesday that athletes representing Russia must not be subjected to different conditions than those of other countries, amid a growing row over their possible participation in the Paris 2024 Games.

In response, the IOC said the rules banning Russians from competing under the Russian flag, anthem or colors would remain in place.

“The sanctions against the Russian and Belarusian state and governments are not negotiable,” an IOC spokesperson said.

“They have been unanimously confirmed by the recent Olympic summit meeting on December 9.

“They are: No international sports events being organized or supported by an international sports federation or a national Olympic committee in Russia or Belarus.

“No flag, anthem, colors or any other identifications whatsoever of these countries being displayed at any sports event or meeting, including the entire venue.

“No Russian and Belarusian government or state official should be invited to or accredited for any international sports event or meeting.”

From its own territory and that of Belarus, Russia invaded Ukraine on24  February, three days after the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, in violation of the Olympic truce and charter.

The IOC duly sanctioned Moscow and Minsk.

However, the IOC said last week it was examining a “pathway” for Russians to take part in the Paris Olympics, probably as neutral athletes rather than under their national flag.

That announcement sparked an immediate backlash from Kyiv. Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Summer Games if Russians are allowed to compete.

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