Russia’s Sports Ban Continues as War Persists

Russias Sports Ban Continues as War Persists

After the one-year anniversary of the start of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia is still banned from many international sporting events. This could soon change with the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics approaching quickly, and the qualifying events underway. The Olympic Committee is working hard to allow Russia and Belarus into the Olympics, but there is lots of pushback.

The main issue with allowing the Russian Olympic Team back into the competition is how the Olympic Committee deals with pro-war athletes. And how can the Russians be allowed to compete without alienating the Ukrainians?

When the war first started in 2022, the Ukraine National Fencing Team refused to compete against Russia in a fencing competition in Egypt, holding up signs protesting the war. All last year, Ukraine insisted on boycotting events featuring Russia rather than allowing a Russian propaganda success. Many other European countries continued this trend, showing their opposition to the war.

Last year, sports groups responded to the Russian invasion quickly. The right for Russia to host the men’s soccer Champions League final and the Russian Grand Prix in Formula One was revoked a day after tanks invaded Ukraine. After four days, the IOC suggested banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from contests “to safeguard the legitimacy of international sporting events and for the safety of all competitors.”

These bans will likely persist well into 2023 and into the Olympics or as long as the war continues. Clearly, most organizations and countries are very opposed to the war and are not budging on this ban.