World Athletics has banned Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) and Belarusian athletics federation athletes “for the foreseeable future” from World Athletics competition in the wake of the Ukraine invasion, with immediate effect.
This means that the two federations’ athletes will not be allowed to take part in this month’s World Athletics Indoor Championships in Serbia.
The announcement made yesterday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus should be banned from all international sporting events.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “The unprecedented sanctions that are being imposed on Russia and Belarus by countries and industries all over the world appear to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disable Russia’s current intentions and restore peace.
“Anyone who knows me will understand that imposing sanctions on athletes because of the actions of their Government goes against the grain.
“Sport has to step up and join these efforts to end this war and restore peace.
“We cannot and should not sit this one out.”
The World Athletics Council has today agreed to impose sanctions against the Member Federations of Russia and Belarus as a consequence of the invasion of Ukraine.
“All athletes, support personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus will be excluded from all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future, with immediate effect.
This means that Russia and Belarus will automatically miss out at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22, and the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships that will start from March 22, in Oman.
The World Athletics announced through a press release on Friday that it was “appalled” by developments in Ukraine and condemned “the Russian military invasion,” adding that WA head had spoken with senior vice-president, Sergey Bubka and with the Ukrainian Athletics Federation president, Ravil Safiullin, offering “whatever practical support we can give.”
World Athletics Athletes’ Commission chairs Renaud Lavillenie and Dame Valerie Adams welcomed today’s decision.
“We stand in solidarity with our fellow athletes, competitors, and friends from Ukraine who are facing far greater challenges than just disruptions to their training and competition, but are in fear of their lives and the lives of their loved ones,” said Lavillenie.