Viktor Lukashenko has been named NOC Belarus President ©NOC Belarus

Viktor Lukashenko has replaced his father Alexander Lukashenko as National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus (NOC Belarus) President, an appointment that is likely to result in sanctions from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko had led the organisation for 23 years.

Both Lukashenko and his son Viktor have been banned from attending Tokyo 2020 by the IOC, which has also stopped all financial support to the NOC.

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

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

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.

IOC President Thomas Bach said earlier this week that the organisation was "closely monitoring the situation" ahead of the NOC elections.

Bach said the IOC would wait for the outcome before deciding whether further sanctions could follow.

It appears likely that Belarus’ flag will be banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which could see athletes being forced to compete under the Olympic flag.

According to Belarus’ state-run news agency BelTA, Alexander Lukashenko and Viktor Lukashenko were the two candidates for the position.

Alexander Lukashenko reportedly asked for his son Viktor, who had been the first vice-president, to take over.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and his son Viktor are already subject to IOC sanctions ©Getty Images
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and his son Viktor are already subject to IOC sanctions ©Getty Images

"I did not plan to be elected for another term as the head of the Olympic Committee," Lukashenko said.

"I will ask you, if this suits you, I will hand over my eldest son to you.

"I promise that there will be no theft, corruption, and misuse of money.

"And the attitude towards athletes and coaches will be very kind.

"As for me, I still won't get away from sports issues."

Alexander Lukashenko was said to have considered it "premature" for him to be named honorary Belarus NOC President.

Dmitry Dovgalenok, an Olympic champion in rowing and canoeing at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, was elected as vice-president.

Alexander Lukashenko claimed the "absolute majority of its athletes were true patriots", while the Belarus President called for athletes to deliver results at Tokyo 2020.

"We are proud of our athletes,” he said, according to BelTA.

"The absolute majority of Belarusian athletes are true patriots of their country giving their talent, strength and energy for victories in the name of the Fatherland.

"You are doing your best to create the sports glory of Belarus.

"And you will make decisions on the further development of the Olympic movement in the country, determine priorities of work, and evaluate results.

"You will be an example for new generations of Belarusian athletes.

"We are going to the Tokyo Olympics to fight.

"And the more pressure is put on people the more they resist.

"In these conditions you need to reach great results to prove that we weren't born yesterday."

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".

"The IOC will wait for the official report about the election results and will evaluate them in due course," an IOC spokesperson said.