Press Release10 Mar 2022

Sanctions applied to Belarus Federation


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The World Athletics Council agreed today (10) to apply sanctions on the Belarus Athletic Federation while Russia’s war on Ukraine, aided and abetted by Belarus, continues. 

These sanctions include:  

- No hosting of any international or European athletics events, which includes World Athletics Series, one-day meetings and other international competitions; 

- No representation at Congress or in decisions which require Congressional votes; 

- No accreditation to attend any World Athletics Series events, including the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22 and the World Athletics Championships Oregon22; 

- No involvement of Federation personnel in any official World Athletics development or professional programmes.  

These sanctions will take immediate effect and continue for the foreseeable future.

Our one-day meetings and tours are discussing the exclusion of Russian Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) and Belarusian athletes from their meetings ahead of their events beginning in the next couple of months. World Athletics is confident that these meetings will adopt the same approach that the World Athletics Council has taken.

Russian Taskforce

The Council approved three recommendations from the Russia Taskforce in regard to the Russian reinstatement process.

Taskforce chairman Rune Andersen acknowledged that the Russian invasion of Ukraine had “cast a shadow” over the whole of Russia, including sport. But the  Taskforce recommended that the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) reinstatement process should continue, to avoid the “very real risk” that RusAF would revert to past doping practices if the process was suspended now.

“Such a loss and backsliding would undermine that cultural change that RusAF has been cultivating and ultimately be detrimental to the interests of clean Russian athletes, the athletes in other countries with whom they compete, and therefore the integrity of future international competitions,” Andersen’s report explains.

Andersen told the Council that RusAF had made significant progress in many areas described in the roadmap, but that it was not yet fit for reinstatement.

Concerns remained around the leadership of RUSADA, Russia’s national anti-doping agency, and the fact that RusAF had not yet paid the reinstatement costs incurred by World Athletics for the third and fourth quarters of 2021.

Andersen warned that if payment was not made as a matter of urgency, this would be regarded as a breach of the reinstatement conditions and would lead to action against RusAF, which could include a suspension of the reinstatement process.

He further acknowledged that restricted travel, due to the invasion, would create challenges for the Taskforce in its oversight and monitoring role, which could lead to changes in the way it operates.

The Council accepted the following recommendations from the Taskforce:

1. The Taskforce continues its oversight and monitoring of RusAF’s implementation of the Reinstatement Plan and KPIs, guided to the extent possible in current circumstances by the international experts. The Taskforce shall report on its work to Council at its next meeting in July 2022 or, if required, earlier.

2. The Taskforce meet with RusAF to discuss progress against the Reinstatement Plan based on the KPIs, to assess and, if necessary, update the Reinstatement Plan and the KPIs, and possibly discuss and/or agree a specific timeline for consideration of reinstatement.

3. The Taskforce review the Post-Reinstatement Conditions including the RusAF’s feedback on them and present them to the Council at its next meeting in July 2022 for approval and/or discussion, as the Taskforce deems appropriate at that time.

Andersen cautioned that presenting the post-reinstatement conditions to Council for approval in July did not mean that the Taskforce would recommend RusAF be reinstated at that time. He said any consideration of reinstatement would be “subject to further discussions”.

The full Taskforce Report can be found here.

Other decisions made during the Council meeting will be shared in the coming days.

World Athletics