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Russian Olympic Committee suspended by IOC with immediate effect

Russian Olympic Committee suspended by IOC with immediate effect
© Reuters
The International Olympic Committee suspends the Russian Olympic Committee with immediate effect after the ROC recognised four Ukrainian sporting bodies as their own.

The International Olympic Committee has announced that it has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee with immediate effect due to a 'violation' of the "territorial integrity" of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee.

Twenty months on from the launch of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the ROC included four regional Ukrainian sports organisations as their own last Thursday.

The sporting bodies of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia - four territories which Russia annexed illegally last September - were recognised as members of the ROC, despite being under NOC authority.

A statement from the IOC read: "The unilateral decision taken by the Russian Olympic Committee on 5 October 2023 to include, as its members, the regional sports organisations which are under the authority of the National Olympic Committee (namely Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia) constitutes a breach of the Olympic Charter because it violates the territorial integrity of the NOC of Ukraine, as recognised by the International Olympic Committee in accordance with the Olympic Charter.

"In view of the above, the IOC Executive Board today decided that the Russian Olympic Committee is suspended with immediate effect until further notice."

At the end of March, the IOC recommended that athletes from Russia and Belarus - the latter of whom have been a key ally to Russia during the invasion of Ukraine - should be allowed to compete under neutral flags, unless they showed support for the war.

The IOC added that those recommendations remain "fully in place", although a decision over whether to allow neutral athletes to compete at the Paris 2024 Games or 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo will be made "at the appropriate time".

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