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IOC urges all federations to cancel events in Russia and Belarus

The International Olympic Committee, angry at the Russian invasion of Ukraine breaching the ‘Olympic Truce’, on Friday urged all international sports federations to cancel their forthcoming events in Russia.

“The IOC EB (executive board) today urges all international sports federations to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia or Belarus,” read the IOC statement.

“They should take the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarussian governments into account and give the safety and security of the athletes absolute priority.”

The IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) both condemned the breach on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the full scale invasion. 

The IOC pointed out that all 193 UN member states had agreed last December to a global truce beginning seven days before the start of the Olympic Games in Beijing on February 4 and ending seven days after the closing of the Paralympic Games on March 13. 

The IOC also said on Friday that the respective national flags of Russia and Belarus should not be flown at sports events.

“In addition, the IOC EB urges that no Russian or Belarussian 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.”

The IOC also said they were doing all they can to ensure Ukrainian athletes were looked after. 

“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 said.

“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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