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Ukrainian stars urge IOC/IPC to ban Russia, Belarus from all sports

A group of Ukrainian athletes have written an open letter to the heads of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In the letter, they urged the two international sports bodies to ban Russia and Belarus from international sports.

The letter, released via the Global Athlete group, comes a week before the start of the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.

It said: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus, is a clear breach of the Olympic and Paralympic Charters —- a breach which must be met with strong sanctions.”

The letter was adressed to Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, and Andrew Parsons, president of the IPC.

It continued: “If the IOC and IPC refuse to take swift action, you are clearly emboldening both Russia and Belarus violation of international law and your own charters.

“Your lack of action will send a message to every athlete and the world that you have chosen Russia and Belarus interests over athlete interests. Your legacy will be defined by your actions.”

Among the listed signatories to the letter are the Ukraine National Olympic Committee Athlete Commission and the Swimming Federation of the Ukraine Athletes.

FIFA bans international games in Russia, no flag or anthem allowed

Others are the bodies representing gymnasts, tennis players, wrestlers, boxers and others.(dpa/NAN)

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