Sport has always been a special occasion for the regime to show its superiority in different spheres. After 2020, there was more politics in our victories at the Olympics and tournaments, but honest athletes who did not sign a letter of support for Lukashenko still gave us something to be proud of. Now they, just like child athletes, have lost the opportunity to compete at the international level. After all, they don’t want to see an aggressor country in the world sports arena.
Following Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee recommended that Belarus and Russia be suspended from international competitions “to protect the integrity of global sporting events and the safety of all participants”. The Committee representatives said: “The current war poses a dilemma for the Olympic Movement. While athletes from Russia and Belarus will be able to continue to take part in sporting events, many athletes from Ukraine will not have this opportunity due to the attack on their country.”
On February 28, the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation said the Russians’ participation in the World Championships in Helsinki was unacceptable and demanded that Russia and Belarus be excluded from international hockey activities altogether. The Hockey Federation of Switzerland demanded to impose sanctions on the Belarusian and Russian Ice Hockey federations.
Units of Belarus and Russia got excluded from the World Cup-2022. The teams of Austria and France took their place. On February 28, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) decided to strip Belarus and Russia of their membership.
On March 1, the European Loose Billiard Federation suspended participants from Belarus and Russia from the European Pool Championship. The organisation’s representatives called the war in Ukraine an attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It said about a gross violation of the UN Charter, the basic norms and principles of international law, the principles of the Olympic Charter and the Olympic Truce. The International Rugby Association made the same decision.
On March 3, athletes from Belarus and Russia were suspended from taking part in the 2022 Paralympic Games. Previously, it had been expected that Russian and Belarusian athletes would be allowed to participate in the Games without national flags and other symbols.
Some athletes refused to compete with the Belarusians and Russians. Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina said on February 28 that she would not play against tennis players from Russia and Belarus. “I would like to announce that I will not play in Monterrey tomorrow. I will not play any other match against Russian or Belarusian tennis players until our organisations take this step. I want to pay tribute to all the players, especially the Russian and Belarussian players, who have bravely stood up against the war. Their support is necessary,” the athlete wrote on social media.
On March 1, the International Tennis Federation cancelled all tournaments in Russia and Belarus and suspended athletes from those countries. But it is about the team tournaments, and athletes will be able to continue to compete in individual competitions. “The International Tennis Federation (ITF) condemns Russia’s war in Ukraine and Belarus’s facilitation of it,” its representatives said.
The International Skating Union suspended skaters representing Russia and Belarus from competing on the same day. Also, on March 1, International Ski Federation (FIS) announced the suspension of the national teams of Belarus and Russia from international competitions until the end of this season. “FIS should conduct its activities with political neutrality, a cornerstone of our values,” the representatives said.
On March 1, the International Canoe Federation (ICF) suspended athletes from Russia and Belarus from international competitions indefinitely because of the war in Ukraine. The flags of Russia and Belarus will disappear from all international events. The ICF will impose a ban on the use of national anthems and images of the federations of both countries on its website and social media accounts.
On March 2, it became known that the European Women’s Basketball League had excluded Russian and Belarusian clubs from the competition. The excluded clubs are Tsmoki-Minsk, Horizont and Olimpia, based in Belarus. Mahiliou men’s basketball club “Borysfen” was also suspended from European competitions.
On March 4, International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) suspended athletes from Russia and Belarus from international competitions. The IWF said it supported the decision of the International Olympic Committee. In addition, Belarus and Russia will not hold any events under the auspices of IWF.
On March 5, the International Gymnastics Federation announced that Belarus and Russia had been banned from competitions. As of March 7, Belarusian athletes and officials, including judges, cannot participate in the competition. The International Boxing Federation banned athletes from Belarus and Russia on the same day but allowed them to participate under a neutral flag.
On March 6, the organising committee of the World Games in Birmingham-2022 banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from participating in the competition. The 2022 World Games, supported by the International Olympic Committee, will be held from July 7-17 this year. Medals will be decided in non-Olympic sports.
On March 9, the World Karate Federation refused to accept athletes from Belarus and Russia in the tournaments. The World Taekwondo Federation also excluded Russians and Belarusians from international tournaments. Sambo competitions will also be held without Russians and Belarusians. The United World of Wrestling also announced that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials had been suspended from all international competitions.
On March 13, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) announced that Russian and Belarusian athletes would not participate in FISU competitions and events until January 2023. The FISU has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’ involvement in it. It means that Russian and Belarusian athletes will not participate in the Summer Universiade in Chengdu.
On March 16, the organising committee of the European Summer Universiade announced that Belarus and Russia would be barred from the competition. The championship is to be held in Munich in August. But Belarusian and Russian athletes, as well as officials, will not be there.
Also, there will be no Belarusians in the blind trials because the International Federation of Blind Sports has suspended athletes from Russia and Belarus. “It was a difficult and painful decision because it inevitably leads to the punishment of athletes who are not directly responsible for the current international situation. But at the same time, we want to show our closeness to the Ukrainian people,” Sandro Di Girolamo, president of the federation, said.
On March 17, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) moved the 44th World Chess Olympiad, which was to be held this year in Russia, to India. FIDE also took into account the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee and suspended the Russian and Belarusian teams from participating in official tournaments until further notice.
On March 18, track-and-field athletes from Belarus and Russia were suspended from the Diamond League. Such a recommendation follows the decision of the World Athletics Association Board.
On the same day, the Executive Board of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) decided to immediately start the procedures for the suspension of the national federations of Russia and Belarus. The IBU noted that the national federations of Russia and Belarus, as representatives of their nations, had failed to meet their humanitarian obligations in the spirit of the IBU Constitution.
On March 19, the International Volleyball Federation (IVF) suspended Russia and Belarus from the competition. The ban will also affect beach volleyball. The International Handball Federation took the same step. The European Handball Federation has also banned representatives of Belarus and Russia to participate in international competitions.
On March 22, the list of federations that banned Belarusians and Russians from competitions was added up with the International Federation of Rock Climbing. The next day, March 23, FINA (International Swimming Federation) suspended Russian and Belarusian athletes from competitions under its aegis. Athletes from Belarus will not participate in the 19th World Aquatics Championship in Budapest in 2022.
Russians and Belarusians will no longer be able to compete in judo either – the International Judo Federation (IJF) has suspended athletes from tournaments. The World Draughts Federation (FMJD) has also suspended the national federations of Russia and Belarus and banned athletes from both countries from participating in tournaments. There will be no Belarusians at international golf tournaments either – the International Golf Federation has ruled to suspend the athletes.
According to experts, 90-95% of the world’s sports are now inaccessible to Belarusians and Russians. We, a country where the majority does not support the war in Ukraine, have also been made enemies and accomplices of war criminals. And Lukashenko is guilty of this, giving Putin a springboard for aggression to keep himself in power. “Our House” will continue to show by its activity that we don’t want war. And we believe that the world will hear us and stop discrimination against Belarusians.