Russian, Belarusian athletes to be excluded from Diamond League

The Diamond League of track and field competitions has banned Russian Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) and Belarusian athletes from its events "for the foreseeable future", organisers said, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Russian, Belarusian athletes to be excluded from Diamond League. (Representative Image)   -  M. Srinath

The Diamond League of track and field competitions has banned Russian Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) and Belarusian athletes from its events "for the foreseeable future", organisers said, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, World Athletics banned the two countries' athletes, support staff and officials from all events for the foreseeable future, and said the sanction included Russian athletes who had the ANA status in 2022.

"The Wanda Diamond League meetings accepted the recommendation of the board that Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) and Belarus athletes be excluded from all Diamond League meetings for the foreseeable future," organisers said.

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"This recommendation... reflects the practical and logistical issues meetings may face if ANA athletes from Russia and athletes from Belarus were to be invited to compete.

The Russian Athletics Federation has been suspended from World Athletics since 2015 due to doping violations, and its competitors have not been allowed to compete under the country's flag at international events.

The International Olympic Committee has recommended that events in Russia be cancelled or relocated and that Russian and Belarusian athletes not take part or compete under a neutral flag.

Many sports bodies have moved events and suspended Russian and Belarusian teams or athletes from competing while sponsors have ended contracts in protests against the war.

Russian and Belarusian athletes are also excluded from the World Athletics Indoor Championships, which begin on Friday in Belgrade.

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