Igor Levitin has temporarily stepped aside at ETTU President ©ETTU

Igor Levitin, a Presidential aide of Vladimir Putin, has temporarily self-suspended himself from his role as European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) President.

The ETTU issued a statement confirming the official would step aside from his role until further notice.

Levitin is the latest sporting official to depart their position, albeit on a temporary basis, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

"ETTU President Igor Levitin today informed the ETTU Executive Board of his decision to self-suspend himself from all functions related to his position as ETTU President until further notice," an ETTU statement read.

"In his absence and as per the ETTU Constitution, the ETTU deputy President will serve as Acting President.

"Mr Levitin informed the Executive Board he had taken the decision in order to protect the integrity of the ETTU and its events as well as the wellbeing of its athletes."

Levitin was elected ETTU President in September 2020, after being the sole candidate for the position.

Levitin has held several roles within the Russian Government.

He was Russia’s Minister of Transport from 2004 to 2012, while he served as chairman of Supervisory Board of the Table Tennis Federation of Russia.

He was appointed as a Presidential aide to Putin in 2013, after one year serving as an advisor.

Levitin was elected as first vice-president of the Russian Olympic Committee in 2018.

Igor Levitin was appointed as a Presidential aide to Vladimir Putin in 2013 ©Getty Images
Igor Levitin was appointed as a Presidential aide to Vladimir Putin in 2013 ©Getty Images

Levitin had met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics earlier that year.

The meeting came at a time when athletes from Russia were competing at the Winter Olympics as the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) due to the Sochi 2014 doping scandal.

The Russian Olympic Committee's suspension was lifted days after the Games in South Korea ended.

Portugal’s Pedro Moura, the ETTU Deputy President, will take temporary charge of the organisation.

The ETTU Executive Board confirmed on Tuesday (March 1) that Belarusian and Russian players and officials will not be invited or allowed in events hosted by the ETTU until further notice.

No Belarusian or Russian national symbols, flags or anthems will be displayed.

International Fencing Federation President Alisher Usmanov is among the most notable officials to have temporarily stepped aside from their sporting roles, following the war in Ukraine.

Usmanov was one of a number of Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the European Union for alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Uzbekistan-born billionaire said he believed the decision was "unfair", and vowed to challenge the measures imposed.

Alisher Usmanov has stood aside as FIE President following the imposition of EU sanctions ©Getty Images
Alisher Usmanov has stood aside as FIE President following the imposition of EU sanctions ©Getty Images

Separately, the European Cycling Union (UEC) has confirmed one National Federation has announced it will not take part in its annual meeting due to the organisation having representation from Russia and Belarus on its Management Board.

The UEC has said its vice-president Alexander Gusyatnikov of Russia and Management Board member Natallia Tsylinskaya from Belarus have announced that they will not take part in the Congress "to ensure that there was no disruption to the smooth running of the Congress."

Gusyatnikov and Tsylinskaya have also said they will not take part in the next Management Board meeting on March 5.

UEC President Enrico Della Casa has said the organisation will implement sanctions imposed by the International Cycling Union, as well as helping coordinate a support package for Ukrainian athletes and sport leaders.

"The UEC is in permanent contact with the President of the Ukrainian Cycling Federation and a meeting is planned in Odense (Denmark) with the UCI President, to put in place a full support package for all Ukrainian athletes and leaders," Della Casa said in a letter.

"In this respect, various administrative actions, in accordance with Swiss law, are in the process of being finalised in the next few days, which will allow us to implement a solidarity plan coordinated by the UEC, UCI and Ukrainian Cycling Federation.

"I also wish to stress that the UEC is in contact with various National Federations who have already welcomed some Ukrainian riders and sports leaders.

"I would like to assure you that the entire UEC Management Board is very aware of the current situation and will provide you with more detailed explanations at our annual Congress, at the same time calling for spirit of unity, solidarity and support from all parties concerned."