International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said the Olympics have a unifying mission when he spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who called for a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, the IOC said on Thursday.

Zelenskiy had said on Wednesday after the call with Bach that he opposed the idea of Russian athletes taking part under any kind of neutral banner at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, as "all their flags are stained in blood."

With the IOC edging towards including athletes from Russia and Belarus at the 2024 Games as neutrals, Bach told Zelenskiy that the Olympics were not about exclusion.