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Friday, December 2, 2022
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FIA calls WMSC meeting after call for Russia ban

The FIA has announced it will hold an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council tomorrow after the IOC called for a ban on Russian athletes.

Following the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces last Thursday, Formula 1 announced it would not be holding the Russian Grand Prix in September as planned.

A number of major championships and sports events have cut ties with the country amid worldwide condemnation and sanctions from western countries.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem wrote to the Automobile Federation of Ukraine last week to offer his support, leading to a response from FAU president Leonid Kostyuchenko calling for a ban on Russian and Belarusian competitors from FIA events.

Earlier today, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that no Russian or Belarusian athletes or officials took part in international competitions.

The FIA has been a recognised federation of the IOC since 2012.

In a short statement issued by an FIA spokesman on Monday evening, it was confirmed that the WMSC will meet tomorrow to discuss matters relating to the conflict.

“An extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council will be convened tomorrow to discuss matters relating to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” the statement reads.

“Further updates will be given following the meeting.”

Any action on Russian athletes would directly impact Nikita Mazepin, who races for Haas in F1.

Mazepin’s future with the team is already known to be in doubt after his father’s company, Uralkali, had its branding removed from the Haas car for the final day of testing last week.

The team said it would be holding talks over the matter in the coming days.

Mazepin wrote on Twitter last week that he was “not in control over a lot of what is being said and done”. He took part in the third and final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona as planned.

Action from the FIA would see it follow moves from other major sporting federations. Earlier today, FIFA announced that all Russian clubs and national teams had been suspended from competitions in the wake of the IOC’s recommendation.

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