Russian Athletes Banned from Championship Ironman Races

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Jan Frodeno, Germany, wins his third VEGA IRONMAN World Championship on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Kailua-Kona. PC: Tiffany DeMasters

* A previous version of this story incorrectly didn’t specify that the age-group athletes were the ones banned from championship races. The story has been updated to reflect that.


The Ironman Group has banned age-group athletes from Russia or Belarus from participating in championship Ironman races, including the October championship races in Kona.


The organization announced the move Wednesday as a “statement of solidarity” with Ukraine and also cancelled the inaugural Ironman 70.3 St. Petersburg race in Russia, which was scheduled for July 17.

The decision comes in light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces.

“The Ironman Group stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, our athletes and their community, and condemns the actions dictated by Russian leadership during this deeply troubling international crisis,”  Ironman said in its statement.


“Age-group athletes from Russia and Belarus are banned from the world championship, however they can compete in our non-world championship events, they are just disallowed to race under the Russian and Belarusian flag – meaning they are unable to represent those countries but can compete in a neutral capacity,” Ironman’s public relations department told Big Island Now.

“No age group participants will be allowed to compete under the Russian or Belarusian flag at any Ironman or Ironman 70.3 events in 2022,” Ironman’s statement read.

The announcement comes a day after World Triathlon banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from taking part in any triathlon events. 

“This extreme measure is taken to protect the integrity and safety of all athletes participating in the events and the integrity of the global sports competitions,” World Triathlon stated in a press release.


The Ironman Championship race in Kailua-Kona will take place over two days for the first time in the race’s 40-plus year Big Island history. An expanded women’s field will race Oct. 6, and the men will compete Oct. 8.


Tom Hasslinger
Tom Hasslinger is a journalist who lives in Kailua-Kona. Prior to joining Big Island Now, he worked as the managing editor for West Hawaii Today and deputy editor for The Garden Island newspaper on Kauai. He's worked for over 15 years as a reporter for the Oahu-based Civil Beat news outlet, as well as in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Douglas Wyoming.
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