Ukraine’s Sports ministry bans athletes from competing with Russians, Belarusians – Kiev

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FILE PHOTO: 2022 Beijing Olympics - Skeleton - National Sliding Centre, Yanqing District, Beijing, China - February 11, 2022. Vladyslav Heraskevych of Ukraine holds a sign with a message reading 'No war in Ukraine'. IOC/OBS/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine has banned Ukrainian athletes to participate in competitions with Russian and Belarusian athletes, according to the ministry’s decree.

Oleh Nemchinov, a Ukrainian Minister and member of the National Olympic Committee, said in late March that the government of Ukraine had decided to ban Ukrainian athletes from participating in those qualifying competitions for the 2024 Olympics, in which Russian athletes would take part. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that Kiev’s decision to prohibit Ukrainian athletes from competing in tournaments with Russians would only harm Ukrainian sports, and it contradicts the position of Ukrainian athletes.

“To prohibit official delegations of national teams of Ukraine to participate in international sports competitions in which athletes from the Russian Federation and/or Belarus participate,” the ministry’s decree, published by Ukrainian lawmaker Zhan Beleniuk on his Telegram, read.

The ministry instructed that compliance with the decree be monitored. Sports federations of Ukraine will be deprived of the status of a national federation in the event of violating the decree, according to the text. The decree also provides for recalling the delegations of Ukrainian athletes from tournaments if Russian and Belarusian athletes participate.

There is no information about the decree on the websites of the Ukrainian government and the ministry.

OC head Thomas Bach said on March 28 that the IOC executive board had recommended international sports federations allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under a neutral flag but not if they support the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

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