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.
Imposing sanctions on athletes because of the actions of their government goes against the grain. This is different, as governments, business and other international organisations have imposed sanctions and measures against Russia across all sectors. Sport must step up and join these efforts to end this war and restore peace. We cannot and should not sit this one out.
Statement of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee from February 28, 2022
The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) discussed again today the dilemma the Olympic Movement is currently facing after the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government and the government of Belarus through its support in this.
The Olympic Movement is united in its mission to contribute to peace through sport and to unite the world in peaceful competition beyond all political disputes. The Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, World Championships and World Cups and many other sports events unite athletes of countries which are in confrontation and sometimes even war.
At the same time, the Olympic Movement is united in its sense of fairness not to punish athletes for the decisions of their government if they are not actively participating in them. We are committed to fair competitions for everybody without any discrimination.
The current war in Ukraine, however, puts the Olympic Movement in a dilemma. While athletes from Russia and Belarus would be able to continue to participate in sports events, many athletes from Ukraine are prevented from doing so because of the attack on their country.
This is a dilemma which cannot be solved. The IOC EB has therefore today carefully considered the situation and, with a heavy heart, issued the following resolution:
In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC EB recommends that International Sports Federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.
Based on the IOC's resolution, the WDF is following the IOC recommendation that no Russian or Belarusian players or officials are permitted to participate in WDF events or ranked tournaments with immediate effect and until further notice.
2022 Lakeside WDF World Championships
As a consequence of this announcement, the WDF are now in the process of redetermining the line up for the 2022 Lakeside WDF World Championships and a further announcement will follow in due course.
We are continuously monitoring the situation and will update our position if things change.