Norway ski body says Russians not welcome to compete there

Russian skiers are not welcome to compete in Norway because of "violations of international law and attacks on the Ukrainian people," the Nordic country's ski federation said Saturday.

FIS allows Russia's athletes to participate after pulling World Cup events from country

Russian cross-country skier Yulia Stupak, right, battled Norway's Tiril Udnes Weng, left, at the recent Beijing Olympics. Norway will not allow Stupak and his teammates to compete there following Russia's invasion of Ukraine this week. (Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian skiers are not welcome to compete in Norway because of "violations of international law and attacks on the Ukrainian people," the Nordic country's ski federation said Saturday.

Norway's call directly contradicts International Ski Federation (FIS) policy announced late Friday and comes days after the winter sport power topped the Beijing Olympics medal table with a record 16 golds. The final men's medal awarded in Beijing saw Russian and Norwegian cross-country skiers share the podium in the Bird's Nest stadium.

The Norwegian plea was also made days before Kvitfjell and Oslo host World Cup races in alpine and cross-country skiing next weekend and while the country co-hosts the junior world championships in Nordic ski disciplines.

"The Norwegian Ski Federation's message to Russia and Russian athletes is crystal clear; We do not want your participation!" it said in a statement.

Russia's military invasion of Ukraine since Thursday requires "international condemnation and sanctions," the Norwegian federation said.

"Sport is not detached from this and cannot remain passive to what is happening now," the statement said, promising to lobby the sport's world governing body.

The NIF said Russia's violations required condemnation and sanctions and called for sports leaders from both countries to be suspended from their positions on international bodies.

On Friday, FIS pulled its remaining World Cup events this season from Russia but later allowed Russians to carry on competing.

"The athletes will continue to compete under their name and the country of Russia, albeit the FIS flag and FIS anthem will be used in all official capacities, including ceremonies," the Switzerland-based ski body said.

A ban on using Russia's flag and anthem was urged Friday by the International Olympic Committee, which also asked sports bodies to move or cancel events scheduled in Russia.

WATCH l Soccer world responds to Russian invasion of Ukraine:

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

4 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.

With files from Reuters

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