Russian and Belarusian athletes banned from international events by World Athletics

Following the announcement that the IOC banned Russian and Belarusian athletes, World Athletics have now followed suit, barring them from competing in next summer's World Championships.

World Athletics are the latest sporting organisation to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from international events.

The ban stops all personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus - which is assisting Russia's invasion of Ukraine - from competing in the World Athletics Series events including this summer's World Championships in Eugene.

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.

"Anyone who knows me will understand that imposing sanctions on athletes because of the actions of their government goes against the grain.

"I have railed against the practice of politicians targeting athletes and sport to make political points when other sectors continue about their business.

"This is different as governments, business and other international organisations have imposed sanctions and measures against Russia across all sectors. Sport has to step up and join these efforts to end this war and restore peace. We cannot and should not sit this one out."

IOC issue statement

The International Olympic Committee released a statement on Monday afternoon, suggesting such bans would "protect the integrity of global sports competitions and the safety of all the participants".

They also added that wherever such bans are not possible, such athletes should not compete under the name Russia or Belarus and should be classed as neutrals.

The statement, made by the committee's executive board, read: "Wherever, in very extreme circumstances, even this is not possible on short notice for organisational or legal reasons, the IOC EB leaves it to the relevant organisation to find its own way to effectively address the dilemma described above.

"In this context, the IOC EB considered in particular the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and reiterated its full support for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Games."

It follows a number of other statements released by sporting bodies and organisations, with FIFA stating on Sunday that Russia must play international matches in neutral countries without supporters, flags and anthems.

The shadow culture secretary has also called for Russia to be excluded from every sporting and cultural event.

Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic want Russia stripped of hosting World Cup playoff-matches

UEFA are also set to hold discussions on Monday evening over Spartak Moscow's participation in the Europa League, Russia's involvement in the Women's Euro this summer and also its sponsorship deal with Russian energy firm Gazprom.

READ MORE: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in Belarus assisting peace talks with Ukraine and Russia

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