World Taekwondo has moved to ban individual athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus following the invasion of Ukraine.
The decision was taken after the governing body’s Council met for an extraordinary meeting today, and complies with the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Taekwondo’s global governing body has already banned Russian and Belarusian flags and national anthems from its events, and said that competitions would not be organised in either of the countries.
It also withdrew an honorary ninth-dan black belt presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine and has continued to pursue a war there.
“The World Taekwondo Council today met for an extraordinary meeting to decide on further actions that the federation will take in view of the ongoing war in Ukraine and following the IOC’s recommendations,” a statement from the governing body said.
“The Council began by reiterating its condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine and the attacks on innocent lives, and expressed its sincere sympathies to the victims.
“The Council expressed its hope for a peaceful and immediate end to this war.
“In support of the IOC’s recommendations, the Council decided that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials will not be permitted to compete at World Taekwondo events until further notice.
“The Council also approved amendments to its statues to reflect this decision
“The Council expressed its reluctance to penalise athletes for decisions of their Governments outside of their control.
“The Council, however, agreed that for the safety of all participants and in the interests of protecting the integrity of its competitions, this was a difficult but necessary decision.”
A number of governing bodies have taken the same stance but sports including judo and gymnastics have refused to ban individual athletes from Russia and Belarus.
World Taekwondo also hinted that the decision not to organise events in Russia and Belarus has had an impact on the bidding process for the 2023 World Championships.
“Following the Council’s decision not to organise events in Russia or Belarus, the Council also approved the re-opening of the bid process for the 2023 World Taekwondo Championships until the end of March,” it said.
“World Taekwondo reiterates that ‘peace is more precious than triumph’ and its values of respect and tolerance.”
original story from inside the games