Russian and Belarussian teams are banned from the Road Worlds but not all cyclists agree
The Australian Cycling Federation is following its Olympic Committee’s suggestions
Following Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine, AusCycling has said that as of Tuesday no Russian or Belarusian national teams would be allowed to compete in the UCI Road World Championships that are taking place in Wollongong, Australia in September.
On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) were vocal in encouraging all international sports federations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes from any competitions. Following that, AusCycling posted the news about banning Russian and Belarussian cyclists from the road worlds this Fall. This comes after news today that Look and Corima would be yanking their sponsorship of the Russian-sponsored GazProm team. The move by the French companies is a complete shift from last week when they said they would continue to sponsor the team, given that it is registered in Switzerland and based in Italy.
Look and Corima pull sponsorship from Russian-sponsored Gazprom pro team
On Monday, the AOC posted a statement about their stance on the situation in Ukraine.
“The Olympic movement in Australia supports the IOC stance and urges Australian sporting organizations to observe the IOC’s recommendations. We all want peace and for Russia to immediately withdraw from Ukraine,” AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll said in a statement. “We are certainly urging our member sports not to invite teams or athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus or rescind any invitations that may have been issued, and to withdraw Australian athletes and officials from any sports events where Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials may be participating. I am writing to all our members today to convey this position and to get a sense of which sports may be impacted by this recommendation. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Ukrainian Olympic community and we strongly condemn the Russian attacks on their country.”
Although most of the world are condemning Russia’s invasion, some are pointing out that the decision by a leader or administration should not punish the athletes themselves. Australian pro, Rohan Dennis, said that it was unfair to ban athletes simply based on where they were born. On Instagram, he posted “Imagine banning individual athletes based on where they were born. Congrats Australian Cycling.”