In a meeting on June 28, the Czech government made the decision, based on a proposal from the Ministry of Education, to impose a ban on Russian athletes and teams from taking part in competitions and matches held in the Czech Republic. This decision was outlined in a press release issued by the Cabinet of Ministers. The same ban is expected to apply to Czech athletes representing the country in competitions taking place in Russia.
The government stated that the proposal originated from sports associations and received support from the leadership of the National Sports Agency. The ban is a response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which has resulted in Russian and Belarusian athletes being unable to participate in most international competitions since last spring.
The Cabinet agreed to the proposal put forward by Education Minister Mikulas Beck (STAN) to prohibit “the participation of individual athletes and sports teams representing the Russian Federation in sports competitions and matches held in the Czech Republic. The same applies, by analogy, to Czech individual athletes and teams in competitions and matches held in Russia.”
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Czech Olympic Committee (ČOV) has opposed the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in Olympic qualifiers and the upcoming Paris Games. This opposition was expressed in a plenary vote conducted by the ČOV in April.
Recently, an expert group from the ČOV recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes sign a sworn statement condemning aggression against any member state of the United Nations by another country, as a prerequisite for their participation in the Paris Olympics under a neutral flag. Essentially, they would need to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.