HomeFree ArticleLatest NewsIOC Suspends Russian Olympic Committee for Annexation of Ukrainian Regions

IOC Suspends Russian Olympic Committee for Annexation of Ukrainian Regions

IOC Suspends Russian Olympic Committee for Annexation of Ukrainian Regions

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has found itself on the wrong side of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), resulting in a suspension. The IOC took this drastic action after the ROC extended its recognition to regional entities unlawfully annexed in Ukraine, a move that goes against the principles of the Olympic Charter.

The ROC’s acknowledgment of Olympic Councils in the Luhansk People’s Republic, Donetsk People’s Republic, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia has been deemed a violation of the Olympic Charter by the IOC.

“The unilateral decision taken by the Russian Olympic Committee on 5 October 2023 to include, as its members, the regional sports organizations which are under the authority of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine (namely Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia) constitutes a breach of the Olympic Charter because it violates the territorial integrity of the NOC of Ukraine, as recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in accordance with the Olympic Charter,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said in a statement.

As a consequence of this decision, the ROC is suspended immediately and indefinitely from operating as a National Olympic Committee. Additionally, it will not be eligible to receive any funding from the Olympic Movement.

The IOC has also said that it will determine whether Russian athletes can participate in the Paris 2024 Olympics as neutral competitors. However, the specific timeline for this decision has not been disclosed. Adams clarified that this decision would be made closer to the Games and that the suspension of the ROC would not influence this decision.

Calls for the banishment of Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing, even under a neutral flag, have been mounting since the conflict began. However, the IOC had previously advised sporting federations to allow athletes from these countries to participate as neutrals back in March.

Ukraine has declared that it will boycott the Paris 2024 Games if a complete ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes is not put in place.

European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, recently had to delay its plans to reintegrate Russia’s under-17 teams into its competitions due to significant opposition. UEFA had initially believed that youth players should not be held accountable for actions primarily attributed to adults in the context of Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, effectively ending a blanket ban on Russian teams that had been in place since the invasion commenced in February 2022. However, UEFA’s attempt to find a technical solution to allow Russian teams to compete was unsuccessful, ultimately leading to the withdrawal of their plan.

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