Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was sanctioned by the IOC in December ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said the organisation will wait for the outcome of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus (NOC Belarus) elections before making a decision on whether the country’s flag will fly at Tokyo 2020.

In December, the IOC Executive Board ruled that the "current NOC leadership has not appropriately protected the Belarusian athletes from political discrimination", which is against the Olympic Charter.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko currently serves as Belarus NOC President, with his eldest son Viktor the first vice-president.

Both officials were sanctioned in December by the IOC, with the pair banned from attending Tokyo 2020.

The sanctions followed the IOC launching an investigation into allegations of political discrimination against athletes, following protests against Lukashenko’s controversial election as Belarus President last August.

It has been reported that more than 100 men and women have been barred from competitive sports in Belarus since signing an open letter calling for an end to police violence against peaceful anti-Government protesters.

The Belarus NOC is scheduled to host elections on Friday (February 26).

Bach said the IOC would monitor the situation and will wait for the outcome before making a decision.

Alexander Lukashenko could be re-elected as NOC Belarus President later this week ©Getty Images
Alexander Lukashenko could be re-elected as NOC Belarus President later this week ©Getty Images

"We are closely monitoring the situation," Bach said.

"I will not speculate on the outcome of the elections in the NOC Belarus.

"We will wait for the outcome.

"Then it is the right time to discuss this issue further."

It seems likely Belarus’ flag will be banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games should Lukashenko be re-elected to a post he has held for 23 years.

This could see athletes being forced to compete under the Olympic flag.

Belarus has already been stripped of several events since Lukashenko's re-election, including this year's International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship and the World Modern Pentathlon Championships.

Lukashenko has described the IOC sanctions as "politically motivated" and intended to "exert pressure on the administration of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus".