Ukraine Crisis: Which Sports Have Banned Russian Athletes?

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The International Olympic Committee has called on sports federations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes, officials and teams from international events wherever possible.

Here, we outline what measures various sports have taken to date.

Football

Russian football clubs and national teams have been suspended from all competitions by Fifa and Uefa.

The Russian men’s team will not play their World Cup play-off matches in March, and Spartak Moscow have been thrown out of the Europa League.

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine,” Fifa and Uefa said in a joint statement.

“Both presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace among people.”

The European Clubs’ Association has suspended its seven Russian members – Zenit St Petersburg, Spartak Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Krasnodar, Rubin Kazan and Rostov.

Rugby union

World Rugby has suspended Russia and Belarus from all “international rugby and cross-border rugby activities” and the Rugby Union of Russia has also had its membership suspended.

“World Rugby reiterates its condemnation of Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine and the facilitation of this action by Belarus,” rugby’s governing body said.

“The global rugby family is united in standing in solidarity with everyone affected by these deeply disturbing events and joins the global community in calling for the restoration of peace.”

Rugby Europe, which runs the second-tier European Rugby Championship (ERC), has implemented World Rugby’s decision, ending Russia’s involvement in this year’s tournament.

International Rugby League and European Rugby League also banned Russia “from participating in any international rugby league competition until further notice”.

Tennis

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has suspended the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) and Belarus Tennis Federation (BTF) from participating in ITF international team competition, however Russian and Belarusian tennis players can continue to compete as individuals.

Russian Daniil Medvedev has just become the new men’s world number one – the first player other than Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray for 18 years.

The ITF has also cancelled “all ITF events taking place in Russia indefinitely” and moved to reschedule an event that was due to take place in Ukraine in April.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the men’s association (ATP) have suspended their combined event due to take place in Moscow in October.

The WTA and ATP added that while players from Russia and Belarus will still be allowed to compete, they will not do so under the name or flag of Russia or Belarus.

Elina Svitolina hopes to ‘unite tennis community’ behind Ukraine

Formula 1

Russian drivers have been banned from competing in the UK by the national motorsport authority, Motorsport UK.

Motorsport UK’s decision comes in the wake of the FIA, the international governing body, deciding to allow Russians to compete in events but ban teams from the country.

Automobile Federation of Ukraine president Leonid Kostyuchenko had demanded the FIA ban all Russian and Belarusian drivers from competing outside their own countries.

No flags, symbols or national anthems of Russia and Belarus will be used in competitions until further notice.

Nikita Mazepin, who drives for Haas, is the sole Russian driver in F1.

Summer Olympic sports

World Athletics had already suspended the Russian Athletics Federation because of doping violations, although some Russian athletes were allowed to compete as ‘authorised neutral athletes’ in track and field at the Tokyo Olympics.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, athletics’ governing body has now banned “all athletes, support personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus” from participation in “all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future, with immediate effect”.

Cycling’s governing body (UCI) has banned Russian or Belarusian national teams from taking part in any event on the UCI calendar and stripped UCI status from six teams from those countries, including the Pro Tour Gazprom-RusVelo team.

The UCI said it would not consider any team applications or requests to host events from the two countries.

However, cyclists from Russia or Belarus will still be allowed to compete as neutral competitors if they are registered to a team that is not from either country.

Swimming’s governing body Fina has taken away an award given to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014 and “until further notice” no athlete or official from Russia or Belarus can participate in an event and represent their country. They can only be accepted at events as neutral athletes.

Putin has also been stripped of his honorary taekwondo black belt, awarded to him by World Taekwondo in 2013. The sport’s governing body has banned the Russian flag and anthem at events, and no events will be staged in Russia.

World Rowing has banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from its international competitions with immediate effect.

Volleyball’s world governing body (FIVB) has cancelled the men’s World Championships which were due to be held in Russia in August and September.

World Archery has voted to remove the Russian and Belarusian national flags and anthems from international tournaments. It says no future events will be awarded to either country and chose not to invite its Russian board member Vladimir Esheev to the vote.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has suspended any athletes from Russia or Belarus from competing in events and has cancelled competitions due to be staged in those countries.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has confirmed that Russian teams and officials will not be allowed to participate in FIBA Basketball and 3×3 Basketball competitions.

The International Boxing Association (IBA) says it will consider rescheduling the Global Boxing Cup – due to take place in Russia in June, while the International Canoe Federation (ICF) will hold talks about moving three events planned to take place in Russia this year.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has suggested it will prohibit athletes from Russia and Belarus from participating in competitions if its full board can reach agreement.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has banned the displaying of Russian and Belarusian flags, while the International Judo Federation (IJF) suspended Vladimir Putin as its honorary president and Russian Sergey Soloveychik stepped down as vice-president.

Winter Olympic sports

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) says athletes from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete as neutrals at the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing.

The two countries “will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table”.

IPC president Andrew Parsons said the measures were the “harshest possible punishment” under its constitution.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has cancelled its remaining events in Russia and, in response to the IOC’s recommendation, ruled that “no Russian or Belarusian athlete shall participate in any FIS competition at any level” for the rest of 2021-22 season.

Norway’s Skiing Association had already moved to ban Russian and Belarusian skiers from competitions in the country “regardless of what conclusion FIS should come to”.

World Curling has removed the European Curling Championships 2022 from the Russian city of Perm.

The sport’s governing body also moved to introduce a new rule which allows for the removal of a team or member association if it is deemed to have put participants or an event at risk.

If the rule receives no objections then the World Curling Federation will “begin the process of removing the Russian Curling Federation entries from the upcoming World Championships”.

The International Skating Union (ISU) has, with immediate effect, banned skaters from Russia and Belarus from participating in international ice skating competitions.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) suspended “all Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs from participation in every age category and in all IIHF competitions or events”.

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has ruled that while Russia and Belarus must not be represented at its remaining World Cup and IBU Cup events – including in the form of flags, symbols and national anthems – individual athletes from those nations will be invited to compete as neutral athletes.

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