FFormer world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko has praised the sports community for coming together to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes after his country Ukraine was invaded last week.
Since the start of what Russian President Vladimir Putin called “a special military operation”, Russian and Belarusian teams and athletes have been banned from international events by many sporting bodies.
Belarus was a key stage for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I am proud of the unity of the world and to see the sporting communities standing together – the International Olympic Committee, the boxing federations, UEFA, FIFA, Formula 1,” Wladimir Klitschko told Sky Sports.
“Ban Russian teams from participating. I have nothing against the athletes but they present the regime and in a way the connection with this war,” Klitschko said.
“It’s never enough until the war is stopped, but it’s important to show that the world is not okay with this war, that the world of sport is not okay with this .”
Klitschko and his brother Vitali, also a former world heavyweight champion and now mayor of Kyiv, both took up arms against the invading Russian forces.