Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has called on international sports federations and sports event organisers not to invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.

It said it has made the call in order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants.

The IOC suggested that wherever it is not possible on short notice for organisational or legal reasons to prevent the inclusion of Russian sports persons and staff in events, it urged event organisers and sports federations worldwide to do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus.

“Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral athletes or neutral teams. No national symbols, colours, flags or anthems should be displayed,” it said.

The IOC said that, based on the exceptional circumstances of the situation and considering the extremely grave violation of the Olympic Truce and other violations of the Olympic Charter by the Russian government in the past, it has taken the ad hoc decision to withdraw the Olympic Order from all persons who currently have an important function in the government of the Russian Federation or other government-related high-ranking position, including the following:

Mr Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation (Gold, 2001)

Mr Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation (Gold, 2014)

Mr Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office (Gold, 2014)