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World Olympic Body Suspends Russia Over Admission of Ukraine Regional Organizations

The International Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) 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 was in response to the Russian Olympic Committee's decision last week to admit the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regional organizations — which are under the authority of Ukraine's Olympic Committee — as its own members. 

Russian troops captured parts of the four Ukrainian regions after its February 2022 invasion.

Adams said the Russian committee's decision "violates the territorial integrity of the [National Olympic Committee] of Ukraine, as recognized by the IOC in accordance with the Olympic Charter."

He added that the IOC still reserves the right to decide on the participation of individual athletes from Russia in next year's Paris Games, as well as the 2026 Winter Games in Milan, "at the appropriate time."

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

AFP contributed to this reporting.

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