The International Olympic Committee is urging sports organizations to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from upcoming sporting events after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The IOC 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 organization’s statement released on Monday read.
The Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, World Championships and World Cups are among the international sporting events the IOC is recommending Russian and Belarusian athletes be removed from, according to the statement.
Regarding how long the ban would last, “The IOC EB, assisted by the IOC Task Force, continues to closely monitor the situation. It may adapt its recommendations and measures according to future developments.”
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To be clear, the IOC is giving a recommendation, and does not have the authority to ban athletes from non-Olympic sporting events like the World Cup or World Championship competitions — only organizations that run those events have such power.
The IOC said its recommendation was needed to “protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants.”
The news comes as several countries including Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden are publicly refusing to go to Russia for upcoming World Cup qualifying games.
Additionally, Formula 1 racing canceled its upcoming race in Russia over ‘impossible’ circumstances surrounding the Ukraine invasion.
At the conclusion of the IOC’s statement was a quote from the organization’s president: “give peace a chance.”
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U.S. President Joe Biden announced “severe sanctions” against Putin and Russia on Thursday. Among those sanctions: blocking activities of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank
and four other major Russian financial institutions; prohibiting Russia’s state-owned organizations from raising money from U.S. or European sources; halving Russia’s high-tech imports; and placing targeted sanctions on Russian elites, such as the Putin-aligned oligarchs, and their family members.
And the U.S. and its allies on Saturday said they would remove large Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging network, cutting them off from parts of the global financial network.