World Triathlon bans Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials

(Photo: World Triathlon)

Yesterday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called on all sports federations to bar Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials to participate in any international competitions as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That followed on the IOC’s request that federations not put on any events in the two countries. Today World Triathlon has followed up on the IOC’s request and will not “allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes or officials in all international competitions or official events.”

“This extreme measure is taken to protect the integrity and safety of all athletes participating in the events and the integrity of the global sports competitions,” World Triathlon stated in a release today.

World Triathlon has already suspended the Russian Triathlon Federation “due to the high number of doping cases,” so no World Triathlon events were scheduled to take place this year. Ironman and Challenge Family both have events scheduled to take place in Russia this summer. Challenge Moscow is scheduled for June 26, 2022, while Ironman St. Petersburg is scheduled for July 27, 2022. According to today’s release, “World Triathlon will work with Ironman and Challenge in order for them to follow these recommendations as well.”

Presumably that means that World Triathlon will ask both companies to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes, and to cancel the two events in Russia this summer.

Challenge Moscow has condemned the military action on social media:

“The Russians and the Ukrainians are one people, we are united by the common culture and history, we developed together and braved the storms together,” organizers posted on Facebook this weekend. “Today we are grieving together; we express the deepest respect for our neighbors. We have a lot in common, and we need to muster patience, the different times are waiting for us ahead.
The sports and politics don’t mix and have never mixed. We condemn military action. We love Ukraine and believe that one of these days the parties will sit down at the negotiating table.”