By: Cooper Baer
In response to the unprovoked attack on Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, many international sports organizations have banned Russian teams and athletes from participating in competitions. Although sweeping sanctions in regards to sports have been enacted against Russia, many feel that they will have little to no effect on Vladimir Putin.
“I don’t think that banning sports will sway Putin in any way,” said Mt. Hebron junior Brandon Arnold, echoing the general consensus of international opinion. Many feel that the Russian attack on Ukraine was an independent action on the part of Vladimir Putin, lacking much reasoning.
Mt. Hebron junior Sam Kelly stated, “It’s unfair to the athletes who have worked their whole life to be stopped from competing as a result of political actions they don’t even support,” arguing that many Russian citizens don’t support the actions of Vladimir Putin in regards to Ukraine.
Many Notable leagues and organizations have taken action on the matter. The FIFA and UEFA (International Soccer Organizations) issued a joint statement suspending all Russian teams from competition. Additionally, The World Motorsport Council, which includes Formula One Racing, suspended Russian and Belarussian hosted races, as well as each country’s respective flag and anthem.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspended the Russian Tennis Federation effective immediately while the World Athletic Council (WAC), the governing body of international sports, banned all Russian and Belarussian athletes from participating in World Athletics Series events.
With little alternative for Russian and Belarussian athletes to compete, some feel that they should be given another way to participate in their respective sports. “I think there should be a way for athletes to compete independently from Russia,” said Mt. Hebron senior Logan Dunn, arguing for more leeway to be given to athletes affected.
Other sporting organizations that have introduced sanctions on Russian and/or Belarussian athletes include: International archery, the Badminton World Federation, the World Baseball Softball Confederation, the International Basketball Federation, the International Biathlon Union, the International Canoe Federation, the International Chess Federation, the World Curling Federation, the International Cycling Union, the International Gymnastics Federation, FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup, the International Ice Hockey Federation, the International Judo Federation, the World Pentathlon, World Rowing, World Rugby, World Sailing, the International Skating Union, the International Skiing Federation, the International Surfing Association, the International Swimming Federation, World Taekwondo, World Triathlon, and the International Volleyball Federation.
With Russian and Belarussian teams, athletes, officials, anthems, and flags widely banned internationally, world athletic officials will continue to sanction for the foreseeable future in response to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.