Lord Coe confirms Russians remain barred from athletics for ‘foreseeable future’

Lord Coe confirms Russians remain barred from athletics for ‘foreseeable future’

Russian athletes will remain barred from track and field “for the foreseeable future” because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, World Athletics president Lord Coe has said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is exploring a pathway for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

However, it appears likely they will not be able to feature in athletics in Paris, arguably the highest-profile Olympic sport.

Coe told a press conference: “The World Athletics Council approved to continue to exclude Russian and Belarus athletes from all World Series events for the foreseeable future due to the invasion and ongoing war in Ukraine.”

The World Athletics Council has also decided to exclude transgender women from female events.

Coe added: “The World Athletics Council has today taken decisive action to protect the female category in our sport and do so by restricting the participation of trans athletes.”

A statement read: “World Athletics has more than 10 years of research and evidence of the physical advantages that these athletes bring to the female category.

“However, there are currently no transgender athletes competing internationally in athletics and consequently no athletics-specific evidence of the impact these athletes would have on the fairness of female competition in athletics.

“In these circumstances, the Council decided to prioritise fairness and the integrity of the female competition before inclusion.

“However the Council agreed to set up a Working Group for 12 months to further consider the issue of transgender inclusion.”