Russian Olympic Committee handed immediate ban says IOC

Russian Olympic Committee

Mumbai, The Gulf Observer: The Russian Olympic Committee was banned with immediate effect on Thursday for recognising regional organisations from four territories annexed from Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee said.

The IOC added the ROC would not be eligible for any funding after it recognised earlier this month Olympic Councils from the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia but that it would not affect any Russian athletes competing as neutrals.

“The unilateral decision taken by the Russian Olympic Committee on 5 October 2023 to include, as its members, the regional sports organisations which are under the authority of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine (namely Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia) constitutes a breach of the Olympic Charter,” the IOC said in a statement.

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

The IOC executive board is meeting in Mumbai ahead of the IOC session on Oct. 15-17.

Thursday’s ruling does not affect any decision on Russian and Belarusian athletes’ participation at the Paris 2024 Olympics which the IOC will take at a later date.

“The suspension of the ROC does not affect the participation of independent athletes,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told a press conference.

While Ukraine welcomed the move, the Russian Olympic Committee called it counter-productive.