International Ski Federation maintains ban on Russian skiers as new World Cup season begins

OBERHOFEN, Switzerland (AP) — The International Ski Federation has upheld its policy of excluding skiers from Russia and Belarus ahead of the new season.

"The current FIS policy, which does not allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials at FIS events, will remain in effect until further notice,” the federation said Wednesday in a summary of its council meeting, which was held online.

The decision comes as the Alpine skiing World Cup gets started with women's and men's giant slalom races in Soelden, Austria, this weekend.

The FIS has excluded skiers from Russia and its close ally Belarus from competing in international ski and snowboard events since shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine last year.

The International Olympic Committee favors allowing Russians and Belarusians to compete as neutral athletes without national symbols in various sports' qualifying events for the Summer Olympics next year in Paris. The IOC hasn't formally decided on Olympic participation.

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