IOC urges sports bodies to cancel events in Russia, Belarus in wake of Ukraine invasion

The International Olympic Committee urged sports bodies Friday to cancel or move all events they plan to hold in Russia and Belarus, and stop using the countries' flags and national anthems.

Organization condemns Russia for breaking Olympic Truce

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on Feb. 20. (Associated Press)

The International Olympic Committee urged sports bodies Friday to cancel or move all events they plan to hold in Russia and Belarus, and stop using the countries' flags and national anthems.

The request from the Olympic body came after UEFA moved the Champions League final from St. Petersburg to suburban Paris, and after the governing body of skiing and Formula One pulled upcoming races from Russia.

Volleyball and shooting both have world championships scheduled to be held in Russia. There is also a World Cup qualifying playoff match against Poland scheduled for March 24 in Moscow.

Russia breached the Olympic Truce by invading Ukraine on Thursday, only four days after the closing ceremony of the Winter Games in Beijing. Some of the Russian troops entered Ukraine from Belarus, Russia's ally.

It was the third Russian breach of the Olympic Truce in the past 14 years. Russia invaded Georgia during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and annexed Crimea shortly after the end of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

WATCH l Soccer world respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

UEFA, Schalke 04 & soccer federations respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

6 months ago
Duration 6:14
Global sport professor Simon Chadwick joins CBC Sports’ Jacqueline Doorey to break down the response from the sporting world to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, specifically the affiliations of governing bodies with state-owned companies like Gazprom.

The IOC said governing bodies "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 flags and national anthems of Russia and Belarus should also not be used at international sports events, the IOC said after a meeting of its executive board.

"The IOC (board) expresses its deep concerns about the safety of the members of the Olympic community in Ukraine and stands in full solidarity," it said.

The IOC also gave "full support" to the International Paralympic Committee for the Winter Paralympics, which open next month in Beijing. Russian athletes are set to compete there, though the team name is banned like at the Olympics.

In its statement, the IOC gave no indication of its intentions regarding the Russian team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now