World Triathlon have announced that Russian and Belarusian athletes or officials will not be allowed to participate in all international competitions or official events.
Condemning Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the international governing body for triathlon labelled it a ‘grave international crisis’ which breaches the Olympic Truce.
They said: “World Triathlon stands in absolute solidarity with the Ukraine triathlon family and the entire country at this time of grave international crisis.
“World Triathlon will work with IRONMAN and Challenge in order for them to follow these recommendations as well.
Russian events cancelled
IRONMAN 70.3 St. Petersburg on July 17 and Challenge Moscow on June 26 have both been cancelled.
An IRONMAN said in a statement on Wednesday: “In line with the recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Triathlon, The IRONMAN Group, effective immediately, will disallow participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah and the two IRONMAN World Championship events taking place in St. George, Utah and Kona, Hawai’i.
“Furthermore, all Russian and Belarusian professional athletes will be ineligible to race at any 2022 IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon events, including this weekend’s IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai triathlon.
“No age-group participants will be allowed to compete under the Russian or Belarusian flag at any IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 events in 2022.
“The 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 St. Petersburg triathlon scheduled to take place on July 17 will be cancelled and registered athletes will receive further email communication.”
Challenge Family also condemned the invasion of Ukraine, asserting that it is “untenable to organise an international sporting event in Russia in the current circumstances.”
World Triathlon says the ‘extreme measure’ has been taken ‘to protect the integrity and safety of all athletes participating in the events and the integrity of the global sports competitions’.
Support for Ukrainian athletes
The move will be reviewed at the governing body’s monthly executive board meetings as the situation in Ukraine develops.
With the IOC advising against the organisation of sports events in Russia or Belarus, World Triathlon has highlighted that the Russian Triathlon Federation has already been suspended for doping cases and is banned from hosting events in 2022.
World Triathlon added that it has contacted all national federations, in addition to Europe Triathlon, to coordinate support for Ukrainian athletes, coaches, officials and staff. IRONMAN has also offered its assistance.
And Europe Triathlon said they fully support the IOC and World Triathlon’s position.
They said: “We have been in close contact with the Ukrainian Triathlon Federation and are already offering help and assistance. A delegation from Ukraine will be attending the Presidents Conference in La Nucia as a guest of Europe Triathlon.”
Meanwhile Super League Triathlon confirmed World Triathlon’s recommendations apply to their events, with co-founder Leonid Boguslavsky calling for an immediate end to the “catastrophic and unjustified war” in Ukraine.