Kostya Deneka has died at the age of 28 after fighting for his country in the war against Russia ©Kostya Deneka/Facebook

Kostya Deneka's name has been added to the growing number of Ukrainian athletes that have been killed fighting for their country in the war against Russia.

The 28-year-old cyclist reportedly died following a bombing in the embattled eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on April 1.

Bakhmut has been a key battlefield in Ukraine’s resistance as Russian forces attempt to capture the city.

Tens of thousands of soldiers have been either killed or injured in the battle of Bakhmut as war continues to rage.

It is reported that Deneka had given up cycling to help his nation repel Russia’s military assault only to be killed in battle.

His funeral is due to be held today in Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Tributes have since been paid to Deneka with Ukrainian skeleton athlete Vladyslav Heraskevych describing his death as a "terrible and painful loss for the hero's relatives and for the entire Ukrainian sports community".

Heraskevych, who famously displayed a banner calling for "no war in Ukraine" during last yea's Winter Olympics in Beijing, has called for an outright ban on Russian athletes from international sport.

Tomáš Zdechovský, a Czech member of the European Parliament, also paid tribute to Deneka.

"Kostya was killed in the fighting at Bakhmut, and he will no longer watch the Olympics in Paris," Zdechovský posted on Twitter.

"But the Olympics will be watched by [Russian] athletes who will make propaganda for the terrorist regime.

"Hopefully some Czech athletes will realise this."

Deneka’s death comes after Ukraine’s four-time world kickboxing champion Vitaly Merinov and Youth Olympic Games boxing medallist Maksym Galinichev died in the war against Russia.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe reported that 185 athletes had been killed during the war in announcing his organisation would extend a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes for "the foreseeable future".

The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board ruled last month that athletes from Russia and Belarus could return to competition as individual neutrals provided they do not support the invasion of Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military.

Ukraine's Government responded by declaring athletes from the country would not participate in any qualifying events for next year's Olympic Games in Paris  where there are competitors from Russia.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced last February that it would consider allowing Russian and Belarusian cyclists and officials to participate in global competitions under "strict conditions".

It also called on Governments not to decide whether an athlete can participate in global events "solely on the basis of their nationality" and "not to use the Olympic Games and our international competitions as a tool for political sanction".

But European Cycling Union President Enrico Della Casa has raised fears over the response from Governments to the participation of Russian and Belarusian cyclists.

insidethegames has contacted the UCI for comment.