FILE - A woman passes by the Olympic rings at the City Hall in Paris, on July 25, 2022. Latvia is threatening to boycott next year’s Paris Olympics if athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus are allowed to take part after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly, File)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The five Olympic committees in the Nordic region on Tuesday urged the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from “international sports participation” because of the war in Ukraine.

The bodies from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway said they wanted to expressed their “steadfast support once again with the Ukrainian people and the demand for peace.”

“We stand firm in our position," they said in a statement. “Now is not the right time to consider their return.”

Last week, the three Baltic prime ministers called for a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes and said an Olympic boycott was a possibility.

They spoke a few days after the Latvian Olympic Committee threatened to boycott the Paris Games if Russian athletes are allowed and called on other countries to form a coalition to pressure international sports bodies. It was the first national Olympic body other than Ukraine to threaten to boycott rather than compete against Russians.

Other national Olympic sports bodies, including the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, back the IOC’s efforts to find a path for Russians to compete.


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