Russian Athletes Banned from World Games
The World Games, in line with a recommendation from the International Olympic Committee, will ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in this year's games which are set to be held in Birmingham, AL from July 7-17.
The decision comes just a week after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and is in direct response to such.
On Monday morning, the International Olympic Committee released a statement, recommending The World Games, which are organized with the support of the IOC, to ban competitors hailing from Russia and Belarus.
"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."
The World Games joins other international sports organizations in banning Russia from competing, most notably FIFA, which also announced its decision Monday morning.
Ukraine qualified over 50 athletes across various sports to compete in this year's games, but due to the ongoing situation in their home country, whether or not they will be able to participate is unknown.
As of now, The World Games are still set to take place and will kick off in the first week of July. The 10-day event will consist of over 30 sports played at different venues around the city and will feature athletes from over 100 countries.