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Ukraine war

Olympics row deepens as 35 nations demand ban for Russia, Belarus

U.S., U.K., Australia among those wanting athletes barred from 2024 Paris Games

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends an online meeting Feb. 10 with sport ministers from 35 countries to discuss a ban of Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Olympics. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters)   © Reuters

VILNIUS (Reuters) -- A group of 35 countries including the United States, Germany and Australia will demand that Russian and Belarusian athletes are banned from the 2024 Olympics, the Lithuanian sports minister said on Friday, deepening the uncertainty over the Paris Games.

The move cranks up the pressure on the International Olympic Committee, which is desperate to avoid the sporting event being torn asunder by the bloody conflict unfolding in Ukraine.

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