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World Athletics bans athletes from Russia and Belarus

The suspension includes the 2022 World Athletics Championships, the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships, and the 2022 World Athletics Race Walking Championships in Muscat, Oman, which are set to begin this Friday, March 4 

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 29: Marina Arzamasova of Belarus (C) wins gold in the Women's 800 metres final ahead of Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya (L) and Melissa Bishop of Canada (R) during day eight of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for IAAF) Photo by: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

World Athletics will impose sanctions against the member federations of Russia and Belarus as a consequence of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian and Belarusian athletes will be excluded from all World Athletics events for the foreseeable future, effective immediately.

This sanction means that all Russian or Belarusian athletes who have received ANA (Authorized Neutral Athlete) status will have their accreditation withdrawn and entries denied, as will any coaches, personnel and officials.

The suspension will include the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, and the 2022 World Athletics Race Walking Championships in Muscat, Oman, which are set to begin on March 4.

Russian marathoner Fedor Shutov, who was scheduled to compete as a neutral athlete

World Athletics has also agreed to consider the suspension of the Belarus Federation, which will be a topic of discussion at the scheduled WA Council meeting on March 10.

World Athletics President Sebastian 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.”

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has been suspended from competing in World Athletics events since 2015 due to multiple doping violations. They are currently not eligible to host World Athletics events or send teams to international championships until 2023.

Konstantin Shabanov (left) is one of the 33 Russian athletes approved by World Athletics in 2022. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Two weeks ago, on Feb. 17, World Athletics and its Doping Control Review Board (DRB) announced it had approved the applications of 33 Russian athletes to compete in international competition as neutral athletes (ANA) this year. Now, the 33 Russian athletes who received ANA status for 2022 are excluded from World Athletics Series events.