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Russian Olympic Committee suspended by IOC over Ukraine move

The International Olympic Committee said Thursday it had suspended Russia’s national Olympic body with “immediate effect” for violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine’s membership.

“The Russian Olympic Committee is no longer entitled to operate as a National Olympic Committee, as defined in the Olympic Charter, and cannot receive any funding from the Olympic movement,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said after the opening day of an executive board meeting in Mumbai. 

Adams said the suspension had followed the unilateral decision taken by the Russian Olympic Committee on October 5 to include, as its members, the regional sports organisations which are under the authority of Ukraine’s NOC, namely Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia.

That move, he added, “violates the territorial integrity of the NOC of Ukraine, as recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in accordance with the Olympic Charter”.

Adams added the IOC still reserved the right to decide about the participation of individual neutral athletes with a Russian passport at the 2024 Paris Games and 2026 Winter Games in Milan “at the appropriate time” in accordance with a policy adopted last year.

The Russian Olympic Committee slammed the decision as “politically motivated”.

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