The ICF will move all its canoe competitions from Russia

Nautical Channel
25 Feb 2022
NEWS | Canoe/Kayak

UPDATE: The ICF has also suspended Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials. These initiatives have also been addressed by the World Sailing and International Surfing Association.

The International Canoe Federation will speak with its stakeholders to decide on the reallocation of venues for canoe events planned for Russia this year. They will also follow the IOC recommendations when using flags and anthems. 

After Russia began a 'special military operation' against Ukraine this past Thursday 24th of february, International Associations and Federations have been quick to take decisions regarding safety of athletes and organisers. This has not been any different for the International Canoe Federation, who will not host events planned in Russia. 

So far, the ICF had three events planned for Russia in 2022. These were the SUP World Cup in Moscow (to take place in July) and two canoe sprint Super Cups in Barnaul and Moscow (to take place in August). 

ICF President Thomas Konietzko pledged support from the international paddling community towards the Ukrainian canoeing family. During a telephone conversation with the Ukraine Canoe Federation President, Igor Slivinsky, he offered all the help possible and stressed out that, in these hard times, the canoe community will stand together. 

"Based on the offers of help from some of our national federations, I informed him that if affected athletes need support in any way, we will help them and can provide if needed accomodation in several European countries." -Mr Konietzko. 

Besides offering Ukrainian athletes, coaches and officials help, he has announced his intention to reallocate all competitions awarded to Russia and implement the IOC's recommendations in the upcoming board meeting. This is due at the end of March. 

Athletes from Russia and Belarus are suspended

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been suspended from competing at any International event until further notice due to hostilities in Ukraine. In addition to athletes, the ICF has voted to suspend all officials from Russia and Belarus from officiating in events and from attending and taking part in ICF meetings.

The ICF executive committee was unanimous and had no hesitation in taking strong decisions to condemn the behaviour of Russia and Belarus. 

“As a global sport, we have an important role to play and need to show leadership on issues like this. We know that innocent athletes and officials in Russia and Belarus who do not support the actions of their government are being punished, but the cost for our athletes, coaches and officials in Ukraine is much higher.” -ICF President, Thomas Konietzko.

Moreover, the ICF executive committee has also voted to remove Russian and Belarusian flags from all international events, as well as to ban these countries’ national anthems and federation images from the ICF website and social media. These measures have quickly been adopted in other nautical sports, like surf and sailing. 

The ICF will continue to monitor the ongoing situation to amend the sanctions if necessary. 

The ISA and World Sailing

Similarly, the ISA Executive Committee has imposed strict sporting exclusions on athletes and officials from Russia. These measures are the result of the strong condemnation of the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine and the unprovoked military assault on Ukrainian people. 

No athletes and officials from Russia will participate or attend ISA events until further notice and will not consider staging ISA events in Russia for the foreseeable future. The surfing community has been shocked by the war in Ukraine by Russia and Belarus’ role facilitating their invasion.

Moreover, World Sailing has also imposed sanctions on Russia and Belarus and has decided to suspend Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in World Sailing competitions and events until further notice. This way, they join a united and coordinated approach within the global sports movement. 

They want to preserve the integrity of competitions and ensure the safety of participants, and this has also been unanimously agreed by the World Sailing Executive Board. 

As more governing sport bodies join these measures to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, so are other measures affecting other nautical industries. Discover how the superyacht industry is getting affected here

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