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27th February 2022

Last modified on February 28th, 2022

Norway won the most medals at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Its stance contradicts the initial policy of the International Ski Federation. FIS has been criticised in some quarters for its reaction to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine.

The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports criticised the Russian invasion of Ukraine calling it “a clear violation of international law”, and described the war as “totally unacceptable”.

Norway has now called for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be prevented from participating in all international sports events.

Kvitfjell and Oslo host World Cup races in Alpine and cross-country skiing next weekend.

Norway is also due to hold the junior world championships in Nordic ski disciplines.

The National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark has taken a similar position in calling for a sporting ban.

Other countries are considering their position.

The final men’s medal ceremony in Beijing saw Russian and Norwegian cross-country skiers share the podium.

Norway at 2019 World Championships, Seefeld. Image © PlanetSKI

Norway is a winter sports power house. Image © PlanetSKI

The President of the Norwegian Ski Federation, Erik Røste, has said that the organisation “does not want Russia, nor Russian athletes, participation at the upcoming World Cup races and World Championships in Norway”.

“Sport is not detached from this and cannot remain passive to what is happening now.”

The position goes further than the International Ski Federation, that has come in for some  criticism for its response to the crisis in Ukraine.

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The FIS Council has ruled that “all Russian athletes can continue to participate in all FIS competitions” under the Russian banner.

It went on to say “the FIS flag and FIS anthem will be used in all official capacities”.

All FIS World Cup events planned to be held in Russia are to be either moved or cancelled, but that decision was not taken straight away.

See here for PlanetSKI’s earlier story:

  • International snowsports events in Russia cancelled after invasion

There has been reaction on PlanetSKI’s Facebook page from readers:

Bob Paterson – Great but shouldn’t have taken so long to announce

Mark Young– Unbelievable how they haven’t immediately boycotted. That’s disrespectful to Ukraine and the whole west

Mari-Anne Offerdal Nehring – Now ban Russian athletes unless they publicly renounce the war

Steven Toplitz – Good. No Russians in any sporting events until the country plays nice.

The British athlete Loyd Wallace who was set to compete in Russia has tweeted his reaction to events:

The Beijing Paralympic Games are due to start on March 4th with Russia and Belarus currently due to compete.

The International Paralympic Committee President, Andrew Parsons, has said that Ukrainian athletes travelling to the Games “is going to be a mammoth challenge”.

In other sports, the Polish Football Association has refused to play against Russia next month in a qualification playoff match for the World Cup.

The Swedish Football Association has taken a similar stance and has said it will not play Russia.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be close eye on developments and will be updating as events unfold.

Image © PlanetSKI