World Athletics confirms ban o...


World Athletics confirms ban on Russian and Belarussian athletes

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Athletes from Russia and Belarus will be banned from competing at this summer's World Athletics Championships in Oregon. 

The World Athletics Council has imposed sanctions on both countries following the invasion of Ukraine.

Their decision follows a resolution from the International Olympic Committee to request that all international sports federations suspend Russian and Belarussian athletes.

The Russian Athletics Federation has been banned from World Athletics since 2015, with their athletes forced to run as neutrals, due to the record of state-sponsored doping in the country.

However, under these new sanctions, Russians won't even be able to compete as neutrals starting with the Race Walking Team Championships in Muscat, and this month's World Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade.

Russian and Belarussian athletes also look set to miss out on the World Championships, which get underway in Eugene, Oregon on July 15.

Addressing the World Athletics Council, president Seb Coe said, "The world is horrified by what Russia has done, aided and abetted by Belarus.

"World leaders sought to avoid this invasion through diplomatic means but to no avail given Russia’s unswerving intention to invade Ukraine.

"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. I have railed against the practice of politicians targeting athletes and sport to make political points when other sectors continue about their business.

"This is different as governments, business and other international organisations have imposed sanctions and measures against Russia across all sectors.

"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.”

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