The German and Dutch cycling federations said Wednesday they had pulled out of the European track championships scheduled for Minsk in June over Belarus’s diversion of a passenger plane and arrest of a dissident on board. “After the events of last weekend, we have made contact with the European Cycling Union (UEC) and made clear that our participation is not possible under these circumstances,” said the German federation (BDR) in a statement. The BDR added that they had urged the UEC to come up with “an alternative solution” amid growing calls for the tournament to be moved. The Dutch federation (KNWU) said that “the safety of riders and staff cannot be guaranteed”. The UEC said on Tuesday it was considering moving the track championships, scheduled in the Belarusian capital from June 23-27. International disapproval of Belarus and its president, Alexander Lukashenko, has increased since the regime diverted a Ryanair jet on Sunday to arrest Roman Protasevich, an opposition journalist who was on board. Lukashenko dismissed the international outcry on Wednesday, saying that Belarus had “acted lawfully” in grounding the plane. Belarus, whose leaders are already under a series of Western sanctions over a brutal crackdown of protesters after last year’s disputed elections, has also faced growing scrutiny in sports in recent months. In January, the International Ice Hockey Federation, under pressure from its sponsors, stripped Belarus of its role as co-host of the world championships. They began on May 21 in Latvia, where all the games will be played.