The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee for violating the Olympic Charter by incorporating sports organizations in four regions in eastern Ukraine.
In a press release Thursday, the IOC says the move by the Russian Olympic Committee on Oct. 5 to include sports councils in Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia as its members violated the “territorial integrity” of the Ukrainian Olympic body.
“The Russian Olympic Committee is no longer entitled to operate as a National Olympic Committee, as defined in the Olympic Charter, and cannot receive any funding from the Olympic Movement,” the press release read.
While the suspension hasn't impacted the participation of neutral Russian athletes in the upcoming Paris Olympics, the IOC clarified it would determine if Russian athletes could be eligible to compete in both the 2024 Paris Olympics and the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics.
This news comes as the IOC has faced pressure to fully ban Russian and Belarusian athletes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While it had previously sanctioned Russia and Belarus, barring international sports events, national symbols, and state officials' participation, in March it urged sporting federations to allow them to compete as neutrals, stating that athletes should not be punished for the actions of governments.
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