Russian broadcaster Match TV claimed it is "in contact" with the IOC on broadcasting rights for the Olympic Games from 2026 ©Getty Images

Russian broadcaster Match TV has claimed it is holding talks with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on rights to show the Milan Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, but the IOC insists there are "no active or planned negotiations".

Earlier this week, Russia and Belarus were excluded from an agreement to award all media rights for the four Olympic Games from 2026 to 2032 to the European Broadcasting Union and Warner Bros. Discovery in 49 European countries and territories.

Both countries are suspended by the EBU, an alliance of public service media organisations, because of the war in Ukraine.

Match TV's general producer Alexander Tashchin has now said that the broadcaster, owned by Gazprom Media, is in talks with the IOC on a separate arrangement.

"At the moment, for our part, we cannot talk about showing or not showing the Games on Match or on Russian television in general," he told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"Last spring, the IOC decided to exclude the territories of Russia and Belarus from the tender for showing the Games in 2026 and 2028.

"We are in contact with representatives of the IOC, we hope for confirmation of the participation of Russian athletes in the Games and the demonstration of the Olympic Games in Russia."

However, the IOC pointed to Russia and Belarus' removal from the European tender process in February last year, and denied any discussions over a deal in either country.

"There are currently no active or planned negotiations regarding media rights in the territories of Belarus and the Russian Federation," it told insidethegames.

Russia and Belarus' exclusion from international sport means their participation at Paris 2024 is uncertain ©Getty Images
Russia and Belarus' exclusion from international sport means their participation at Paris 2024 is uncertain ©Getty Images

Sports marketing operator Telesport had secured rights to four Olympic Games from Pyeongchang 2018 through to Paris 2024 in Russia, after the country was the only one omitted from the European rights deal with Discovery covering the same time period.

Telesport's chief executive Petr Makarenko told TASS last year that it had secured rights for Milan Cortina 2026.

Russia and Belarus have largely been frozen out of international sport since the widely-condemned invasion of Ukraine, following IOC recommendations that their athletes are excluded from competitions.

Their participation at Paris 2024 is uncertain, although the IOC has entertained a proposal for both countries' athletes to compete as neutrals at Asian qualifying events.

The IOC insists that its recommendation on the non-participation of athletes is a "protective measure", distinct from sanctions including a ban on Russian and Belarusian national symbols at sports events.

Russian athletes competed at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 under the "neutral" Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) banner, following on from a separate appearance at Pyeongchang 2018 under the Olympic Athletes of Russia name due to the ROC's suspension.