Ukrainian Olympic Committee asks that Russian, Belarusian athletes stay banned

Ukraine's National Olympic Committee has requested the International Olympic Committee to continue its ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competitions.

In a meeting in Kyiv on Thursday, the committee and domestic sports federations signed a joint statement to ask that the ban continue until the end of the invasion of Ukraine.

The meeting discussed the IOC's decision to consider allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to international competitions under the condition that they compete as neutrals not representing any country or region.

The joint statement said more than 250 Ukrainian athletes were killed in the invasion and that many other athletes are unable to train or compete in the country.

The statement said Russian and Belarusian athletes train in comfortable conditions at the expense of the aggressors and publically support the invasion. It said that they wear masks of neutrality only to participate in international competitions and take them off after the events are over.

Ukraine's National Olympic Committee is considering boycotting the 2024 Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete.

The committee's president, Vadym Guttsait, said everything will be done to prevent the athletes of the two countries from participating in international competitions under any status, "even in a neutral one."