IOC urges sports federations to relocate or cancel events set to be held in Russia or Belarus

By Sports Desk February 25, 2022

The International Olympic Committee has called on international sporting federations to relocate or cancel any events set to take place in Russia or Belarus.

After weeks of rising political tensions, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Thursday, with the conflict escalating further on Friday.

Russia's invasion has been widely condemned by governments, world leaders and sporting bodies.

UEFA has moved this season's Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris, while Formula One has removed the Russian Grand Prix from its race schedule for this year.

On Thursday, the IOC condemned Russia for breaking the Olympic Truce and on Friday, the governing body urged sporting federations around the world to reconsider the hosting of any events in Russia or neighbouring Belarus, which has helped facilitate the Ukraine invasion.

It has also called for the Belarusian and Russian flags and national anthems not to be displayed or played at any sporting events.

"The IOC EB [executive board] today urges all International sports federations to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia or Belarus," a statement read.

"They should take the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarusian 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 Belarusian 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 coordinate humanitarian assistance where possible."

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