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West calls for Russia’s removal from sport governing bodies

#West #calls #Russias #removal #sport #governing #bodies

Western powers on Tuesday urged international sports federations to remove pro-state Russians and Belarusians for invading Ukraine, after leading events had already banned their athletes.

In a joint statement, 35 Western nations, plus Japan and South Korea, reiterated a March 8 call not to hold international sporting events in Russia or Belarus and to ban their citizens from international competitions.

In new recommendations, the 35 nations called for the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian umbrella organizations from international sports federations.

“People closely associated with the Russian and Belarusian states, including but not limited to government officials, should be removed from influential positions in international sports federations such as boards and organizing committees,” said the statement by sports ministers and culture officials released by became the US Department of State.

They also urged event organizers to consider suspending broadcasts to Russia and Belarus.

The United States and European Union have waged a campaign to outlaw Russia in hopes of putting pressure on President Vladimir Putin, who was clearly proud that Russia was hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 World Cup.

World football’s governing body FIFA and the leading tennis tournament Wimbledon, among others, have banned Russians from competitions since the February 24 invasion.

The International Olympic Committee, which had already banned Russian athletes from competing under their flag on grounds of doping, has recommended a ban for Russian and Belarusian athletes.

But two Russians remain on the committee — Yelena Isinbayeva, an Olympic pole vault medalist close to Putin, and Russia’s tennis boss Shamil Tarpishchev.

The new joint statement called for events allowing for the participation of Russia and Belarus, to make it clear that they do not represent their states and to ban the use of their flags.

Belarus has been targeted for its support for the invasion, and Ukraine recently reported being hit by missiles from its northern neighbor.

Veteran Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko is a close Putin ally and has sought to smash protests that erupted after widespread allegations of fraud in his 2020 re-election.

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#West #calls #Russias #removal #sport #governing #bodies

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