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IOC calls for no sports events in Belarus, Russia; ski World Cups in Russia canceled

2018/19 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup: ski cross

CHELYABINSK REGION, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 24, 2019: Athletes Marielle Thompson (L) of Canada and Sandra Naslund of Sweden compete in the ladies’ ski cross final event of the 2018/19 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup held at the Sunny Valley ski base in Miass. Donat Sorokin/TASS (Photo by Donat SorokinTASS via Getty Images)

Donat Sorokin/TASS

The International Olympic Committee Executive Board urged all international federations to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia and Belarus.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, a move supported by the government of Belarus.

The IOC board said both nations violated the Olympic Truce, which calls for peace over a period from seven days before the Olympics through seven days after the Paralympics. The Paralympics open next Friday and run through March 13.

"[Federations] should take the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarussian governments into account and give the safety and security of the athletes absolute priority,” the IOC said in a statement.

The board also urged for the Russian and Belarussian flags and anthems to be outlawed from international sports events. The Russian flag and anthem are already banned from major championships into mid-December 2022 over the nation’s doping offenses.

Earlier Friday, the International Ski Federation (FIS) said it will not hold any World Cup events in Russia for the rest of this season.

Competitions in cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing and ski jumping will be relocated or canceled. Russia was scheduled to host six World Cup stops through the end of March.

The decision was made “in the interest of the safety of all participants and to maintain the integrity of the World Cup,” according to a FIS press release.

Before the decision, a World Cup ski cross event began on Friday in Sunny Valley, Russia, along the Ural Mountains. It was canceled after the qualification round, where 72 skiers from 13 nations were listed as “did not start.” The 13 skiers who did start were all Russian.

Aerials World Cups scheduled in Russia this Saturday and Sunday and the following weekend will not be held. The cross-country World Cup Finals were scheduled for Tyumen from March 18-20. Women’s ski jumping World Cups in Russia were slated for the last two weekends of March.

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