LAUSANNE/MINSK: Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has responded angrily to his banishment from Olympic sport involvement by the IOC.

Lukaschenko, who is also president of the Belarus national Olympic committee, was shown a red card by the executive board of the International Olympic Committee on Monday along with two other members of the NOC.

The man described as ‘Europe’s last dictator’ was punished provisionally after complaints about the violent treatment of Belarus sportsmen and women who had been among protesters at the reportedly rigged presidential election in August which saw Lukaschenko claim 80.23pc of the vote.

Lukaschenko insisted he was guilty of nothing, and especially not of acts of repression against sports competitors.

He told official Belarusian news agency Belta: “Let it go have to go to court. Let [IOC president] Thomas Bach and his gang say what I’m guilty of for having defended my country.”

Lukashenko did not attend the last two editions of the Summer Games. He was unable to travel to London in 2012 after as the UK refused him a visa and also gave Rio de Janeiro in 2016 a miss. He was present at the Opening Ceremonies of the Games in Nagano in 1998, Beijing in 2008, then Sochi in 2014.

The Belarus NOC described the IOC decision as “politically motivated.”