AusCycling: No Russia, Belarus teams permitted at Road Worlds at this stage

Russian riders on the course of the 2021 World Championships in Belgium
Russian riders on the course of the 2021 World Championships in Belgium (Image credit: Getty Images)

In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) have in the last 24 hours urged international sports federations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes. 

AusCycling has come out in support of these decisions, with the governing body saying that at this stage no Russian or Belarusian national teams would be permitted to compete in the UCI Road World Championships due to be held in Wollongong in September. The UCI has still to react to the IOC decision and rule on the future of the Russian Gazprom-RusVelo team and other Russian athletes.

In an earlier announcement the Executive Board of the IOC had already urged against the organisation of any sports event in Russia or the nation which has been used as a staging ground for the invasion, Belarus. 

The most recent statement added a Ukraine solidarity fund, withdrew the Olympic Order from senior Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin and included the recommendation that international sports federations and event organisers don't allow athletes or officials from Russia or Belarus to take part in their competitions.

It was a stance quickly backed by Australia's national committee.

“We all want peace and for Russia to immediately withdraw from Ukraine," AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carrol 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."

The AOC said it was writing to its member bodies to convey the position and get a sense of which sports may be impacted by the recommendation.

Australia was apparently not planning to send a cycling team to events that will be ruled out by the recommendations. However, if things don't alter course in the coming months, athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus are likely to be excluded from the Wollongong World Championships from September 18-25.

"AusCycling supports the IOC and AOC’s decisions on Russian and Belarusian events and national teams," said AusCycling in response to questions from Cyclingnews

"We have reviewed our competition schedule and there are no events in either country that our athletes were planning to attend."

"The only domestic event which could involve teams from those nations is the UCI Road World Championships due to be held in Wollongong in September. We will continue to discuss the situation with the UCI and other relevant authorities, but at this stage and consistent with the approach of the IOC, AOC and other Australian sports, no Russian or Belarusian national teams would be permitted to compete."

The Road World Championships in Wollongong from September 18-25 are the first international road cycling event scheduled in Australia since January of 2020, with the closed borders amid the COVID-19 pandemic leading to the cancellation of both the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race for two years in a row.

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Australia Editor

Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.