Ukraine's four-time kickboxing world champion Vitaly Merinov died in hospital from injuries sustained in battle ©Ruslan Martsinkiv/Facebook

Kickboxer Vitaly Merinov has become the latest Ukrainian athlete to die in the war against Russia, it has been announced by the Mayor of the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk.

Ruslan Martsinkiv announced on Facebook that Merinov had died in hospital from injuries sustained in battle.

Merinov was a four-time world champion in kickboxing and a national champion in mixed martial arts, his achievements earning him the title of master of sports in boxing.

He had also served on the Executive Committee of Ivano-Frankivsk City Council.

During the war prompted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Martsinkiv reported that Merinov had previously returned to the front after suffering a gunshot wound to the leg.

Ukrainian skeleton athlete Vladyslav Heraskevych, who famously displayed a banner calling for "no war in Ukraine" during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and has called for an outright ban on Russian athletes from international sport, was among those to pay tribute.

"Glory to the hero," he wrote on Twitter.

insidethegames has contacted the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations for comment.

Several Ukrainian athletes have been killed in battle since Russia's full-scale invasion in February last year, including Youth Olympic Games silver medallist boxer Maksym Galinichev earlier this month.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe reported that 185 athletes had been killed during the war in announcing his organisation would extend a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes for "the foreseeable future".

Coe is an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, but his stance is now at odds with the Lausanne-based organisation after its Executive Board earlier this week ruled athletes from both countries could return to competition as individual neutrals provided they do not support the invasion of Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military.

Ukraine's Government responded by declaring athletes from the country would not participate in any qualifying events for the Paris 2024 Olympics where there are competitors from Russia.

IOC President Thomas Bach has claimed "we found some middle ground on which we can all move forward" through its position, and described European Governments' criticism of its stance as "deplorable".