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Ukraine to ban athletes from participating in competitions with Russians – Minister

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Moscow: The government of Ukraine has decided to ban Ukrainian athletes from participating in those qualifying competitions for the 2024 Olympics, in which Russian athletes will take part, Ukrainian Minister and member of the National Olympic Committee Oleh Nemchinov said on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board recommended international sports federations to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under a neutral flag but not if they support the ongoing military operation in Ukraine or are contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies.

“Today, at a government meeting, a protocol decision was approved at the suggestion of a colleague, [Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and National Olympic Committee President Vadym] Huttsait, that we take part only in those qualifying competitions where there are no Russians,” Nemchinov said.

In February 2022, the IOC recommended that international sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in competitions after Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine. Most international federations initially followed the recommendation, but some have since allowed athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete under a neutral flag.

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