The Boston Marathon is just one week away and it will be the first Boston Marathon run in April in 3 years. Just a little over a week before, they have made announcement concerning some runners this year.
Boston Marathon Bans Runners from Russia and Belarus
With the continuing war in Ukraine, many companies and organizations have taken steps against the Russian and Belarusian governments. Some have gone further to restrict access to even the citizens/residents of those countries.
The Boston Athletic Association is the latest with the following announcement concerning Russian and Belarusian runners that reside in those countries:
BOSTON — The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that Russians and Belarusians, who were accepted into the 2022 Boston Marathon or 2022 B.A.A. 5K as part of the open registration process and are currently residing in either country, will no longer be allowed to compete in either event.
Russian and Belarusian citizens, who were accepted into the 2022 Boston Marathon or 2022 B.A.A. 5K as part of the open registration process but are not residents of either country, will be able to compete. These athletes, however, will not be able to run under the flag of either country.
“Like so many around the world, we are horrified and outraged by what we have seen and learned from the reporting in Ukraine,” said President & CEO of the B.A.A. Tom Grilk. “We believe that running is a global sport, and as such, we must do what we can to show our support to the people of Ukraine.”
The B.A.A., its races, and events will not recognize the country affiliation or flag of Russia or Belarus until further notice. The 2022 Boston Marathon, B.A.A. 5K, and B.A.A. Invitational Mile do not include any professional or invited athletes from Russia or Belarus.
The B.A.A. will make reasonable attempts to refund the athletes from Russia or Belarus who will no longer be able to participate, within the constraints as imposed by federal and international sanctions.
The B.A.A. will provide all Ukrainians who are registered in the 126th Boston Marathon or the 2022 B.A.A. 5K and are unable to compete with a refund or option to defer to a future year. The B.A.A. will reach out to these athletes directly later this spring.
Given the sanctions and restrictions placed on the Russian financial institutions by the western nations, it may be difficult for those runners to even get a refund from the BAA at this time. Given that they specified the option to all Ukrainian runners (regardless of their place of residency) to defer to a future year but did not give that option for Russian or Belarusian runners, it would appear that this is not available to them.
For 2021, there were no Belarusian residents entered and only 35 Russian residents that were entered for the 2021 Boston Marathon.
Featured image courtesy of Marcio Jose Bastos Silva via Shutterstock