The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommends that Russian and Belarusian athletes be prevented from competing in international events

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes be prevented from competing in international events.

In a lengthy declaration yesterday afternoon, the IOC said that it was acting with “a heavy heart” as it called for a ban on both Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials.

The statement read: “In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC Executive Board recommends that international sports Federations and sports event organisers do not invite nor allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.”

The IOC did, however, leave some leeway in its statement. It suggested that organisers of tournaments taking place imminently could take different decisions.

Ukrainian athletes had written an open letter to IOC President, Thomas Bach saying that the action of Russia and Belarus breached the Olympic Charter.

The IOC has also withdrawn the Olympic Order from Russian President, Vladimir Putin.