IRONMAN bans Russian, Belarusian athletes from St. George world championship

Mar 2, 2022, 6:53 AM

FILE: Competitors compete in the running leg during the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 18...

FILE: Competitors compete in the running leg during the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 18, 2021, in St George, Utah. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Professional athletes from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete in the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St. George.

The IRONMAN Group announced the ban Wednesday morning, adding a triathlon scheduled for July 17 in St. Petersburg has been canceled.

“The IRONMAN Group stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, our athletes, and their community, and condemns the actions dictated by Russian leadership during this deeply troubling crisis,” IRONMAN officials said. “While we recognize the difficult situation created for Russian and Belarusian athletes by these steps, we believe these are necessary to protect the integrity of our events.”

The bans come after the International Olympic Committee urged others to exclude Russia’s athletes and officials from international events.

In addition to the St. George ban, the group said all professional Russian and Belarusian athletes will be ineligible to participate in any IRONMAN event this year, including this weekend’s triathlon in Dubai.

Age group participants will not be allowed to participate under the Russian or Belarusian flags at any 2022 event.

Officials also offered to assist Ukrainian athletes who planned to participate in events this year.

Russia Facing Sports Isolation Over Invasion Of Ukraine

The IRONMAN ban is the latest impact on Russian athletes as their country’s invasion of Ukraine continues. UEFA pulled the Champions League final from St. Petersburg and FIFA booted Russia’s national team from a 2022 World Cup qualifier.

On Wednesday, Russia renewed its assault on Ukraine’s second-largest city in a pounding that lit up the skyline with balls of fire over populated areas, even as both sides said they were ready to resume talks aimed at stopping the new devastating war in Europe.

Roughly 874,000 people have fled Ukraine and the U.N. refugee agency warned the number could cross the 1 million mark soon. Countless others have taken shelter underground.

Russia batters Ukraine; both sides say ready for more talks

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IRONMAN bans Russian, Belarusian athletes from St. George world championship