World Athletics suspends Russian and Belarusian athletes: World is appalled by what Russia has done, says Coe

Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from World Athletics events as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, the governing body said after its council meeting on Tuesday.

“All athletes, coaches and officials from Russia and Belarus will be banned from all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future with immediate effect,” World Athletics said in a statement.

World Athletics decision comes as sporting world boycotts Russia amid invasion of Ukraine. While the International Olympic Committee has recommended a suspension, organizations such as FIFA, UEFA, the world badminton governing body and ski federations have suspended Russian athletes and teams.

Upcoming events include the Oregon22 World Athletics Championships, the Belgrade 22 World Indoor Athletics Championships and the Muscat 22 Athletics Walking Team Championships, which begin Friday (March 4) in Oman.

The Council also agreed to consider further measures, including the suspension of the Belarusian Federation, at its scheduled meeting next week (9-10 March).

RUSSIAN ATHLETES WITH ANA STATUS SUSPENDED

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has been banned from World Athletics for anti-doping violations since 2015 and is therefore currently not eligible to host World Athletics events or send teams to international championships.

The Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) process remains in place, but Russian athletes who have received ANA status for 2022 will be banned from World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future.

The world is shocked: Sebastian Coe

Speaking to the Council, Athletics World President Sebastian Coe said: “The world is appalled by what Russia has done, supported and instigated by Belarus. World leaders tried to avoid this invasion through diplomatic means, but in vain given Russia’s unwavering intention to invade Ukraine.

“The unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus by countries and industries around the world appear to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disrupt Russia’s current intentions and restore peace.

“Anyone who knows me will understand that imposing sanctions on athletes because of their government’s actions goes against the grain. I have railed against the practice of politicians targeting athletes and sport to score political points when other sectors continue to do business.

“This is different as governments, companies and other international organizations have imposed sanctions and measures against Russia in all areas. Sport must join this effort to end this war and restore peace. We cannot and should not sit this one out.”

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