The NIF and DIF have called for Russia and Belarus to be banned from international sport events ©Getty Images

The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) and National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) have called for athletes representing Russia and Belarus to be banned from international sports events in light of the invasion of Ukraine.

Following an extraordinary meeting of the NIF Sports Board, the organisation condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine as "a clear violation of international law", and described the war as "totally unacceptable".

The NIF backed international condemnation and sanctions in response to Russia's military action, and has called for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be prevented from participating in international sports events outside of the two countries.

It also suggested Russian and Belarusian officials should be suspended from any positions held internationally, and said it will encourage International Federations and major sports bodies including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to follow its stance.

"Norwegian sports will aggressively support further internationally coordinated sanctions against Russia and Russian and Belarusian sports in the future," the NIF concluded.

The DIF echoed sentiments from its Norwegian equivalent.

"Russia's military invasion of Ukraine is affecting us all deeply," its President Hans Natorp commented.

"These are frightening images and reports that come from the escalating acts of war hour by hour.

The NIF and DIF have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images
The NIF and DIF have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images

"Russia's attacks on the Ukrainian people are totally unacceptable and require international condemnation and sanctions.

"That is why our position is clear: Russia and Belarus must be excluded from all international sports and sporting relations."

Natorp also urged "associations and clubs not to have sporting relations with Russia and Belarus in Denmark" and International Federations to "exclude Russia and Belarus from all sporting activities".

He vowed that the DIF would support measures taken internationally against Russia and Belarus.

"A number of coordinated international sanctions against Russia are currently being launched, including through the EU [European Union]," Natorp said.

"We believe that sport should also be a part of them.

"From DIF's side, we work intensively with both the Nordic sports federations and other sports organisations to find common ways on how we can put the greatest possible pressure on Russia.

"At the same time, a number of our specialist federations are putting pressure on their European and international organisations to find common ground for excluding Russia from sports competitions."

The Norwegian Ski Federation's President Erik Røste has also affirmed 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 Norwegian Ski Federation commented.

The Norwegian Ski Federation has said it does not want Russian athletes to compete at World Cups or World Championships held in the country ©Getty Images
The Norwegian Ski Federation has said it does not want Russian athletes to compete at World Cups or World Championships held in the country ©Getty Images

The FIS Council has ruled that "all Russian athletes can continue to participate in all FIS competitions" under the Russian banner, "albeit the FIS flag and FIS anthem will be used in all official capacities".

All FIS World Cups scheduled to be held in Russia between now and the end of the season are to be either moved or cancelled.

Hundreds of people have died in the fighting in Ukraine, including civilians.

Russia has received widespread condemnation for launching the attack, including from United Nations secretary general António Guterres, who attended Beijing 2022 and has close ties to the IOC.

The UEFA Champions League final and a Formula One Grand Prix are among the other major events to be moved from Russia.

The IOC has called for Russia and its long-term ally Belarus to be stripped of all events which have not already been moved, and for the two countries' flags and anthems to be banned from the sporting stage.

Russia has been unable to compete at the Olympic Games under its own name and flag since Rio 2016, while several officials from the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus were banned at Beijing 2022 and Tokyo 2020.

Both countries' athletes are currently set to be permitted to compete at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics, due to start on Friday (March 4), but International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons has recognised that Ukrainian athletes travelling to the Games "is going to be a mammoth challenge".