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Mazepin future cast into further doubt as IOC urge Russian athlete bans

Mazepin future cast into further doubt as IOC urge Russian athlete bans

Mazepin future cast into further doubt as IOC urge Russian athlete bans

Mazepin future cast into further doubt as IOC urge Russian athlete bans

Nikita Mazepin's future in F1 has been cast into further doubt after the International Olympic Committee called on governing bodies of recognised sports to ban Russians and Belarusians from participating in international events.

The move comes in the shadow of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as Russia continues to mobilise troops in the country after triggering a full-scale invasion last week.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner had insisted there were "no guarantees" over Mazepin's future with the team given the situation in Ukraine, with the 22-year-old heavily backed by father, Russian oligarch Dmitry.

With the FIA being fully recognised by the IOC since 2013, which has been reflected by Mazepin racing under the RAF [Russian Athletics Federation] tag rather than for Russia due to the country's doping scandals in modern times, pressure has been applied to ensure participants from the nation are banned from competing.

A statement from the IOC reads: "The Executive Board [EB] of the International Olympic Committee [IOC] discussed again today the dilemma the Olympic Movement is currently facing after the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government and the government of Belarus through its support in this.

"The current war in Ukraine, however, puts the Olympic Movement in a dilemma. While athletes from Russia and Belarus would be able to continue to participate in sports events, many athletes from Ukraine are prevented from doing so because of the attack on their country."

Further pressure was placed on Haas and the FIA when the Ukrainian Motorsport Federation sent a demand to F1's governing body demanding Russians and Belarusians were banned from international competition.

With the first race of the season less than three weeks away, Steiner has indicated reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi would be first in line to replace Mazepin should he be moved aside.

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