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Putin Calls For Measures To Prevent 'Politicization' Of Sports

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for international measures to prevent politics from spilling over into sports as the West continues to snub Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

"Sporting ideals and principles are more often becoming hostage to political opportunism," Putin said on October 21 at the inaugural meeting of the world's Olympic associations in Moscow.

"This goes against the philosophy of the Olympic movement, which is based on respect, justice, and openness."

Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup in 11 cities, despite calls by some foreign lawmakers to boycott the tournament over Moscow's involvement in the Ukraine crisis, where 18 months of clashes between Kyiv and Russian-backed separatists have left nearly 8,000 dead.

Putin said a UN resolution is needed to "finally enshrine the de-politicization of sport in international law."

"We advocate for sports to stay out of politics," he said.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach echoed Putin's statements, saying that any form of boycott was discriminatory and at odds with the Olympic spirit.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

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