The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called for sports organizations across the world to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in international events on Monday. The request from the IOC was made following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC EB recommends that International Sports Federations and sports event organizers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions," the IOC said in a statement. "The IOC EB welcomes and appreciates the many calls for peace by athletes, sports officials and members of the worldwide Olympic Community.
"The IOC admires and supports in particular the calls for peace by Russian athletes."
The group added that if it is not possible to turn away athletes "on short notice for organisational or legal reasons," the solution is to compete under a neutral name -- something the IOC has experience in. In the most recent Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics, Russian-born athletes had to compete under the Russian Olympics Committee name (ROC) -- not Russia. Furthermore, the Russian flag and national anthem was not played at either of those Olympics.
The IOC's statement comes as the group has ruled that Russia and Belarus have broken the Olympic Truce, which started seven days before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and runs until seven days after the conclusion of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics, which is March 20.
The IOC had previously asked sports organizations to cancel events taking place in Russia and Belarus and withdrew the Olympic Order awarded to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as other Russian officials.