The 2022 Boston Marathon is less than two weeks away and is set to feature 30,000 runners from dozens of countries. But two countries won't be allowed to send athletes to compete in it this year.
According to NESN, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced today that it has banned athletes from Russia and Belarus from competing this year. The decision has been made in response to Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, BAA president and CEO Tom Grilk said said that the organized is "horrified and outraged" by the ongoing conflict. He asserted that the organization stands in solidarity with Ukraine.
“Like so many around the world, we are horrified and outraged by what we have seen and learned from the reporting in Ukraine,” Grilk said. “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 ban will exclude athletes currently living in Belarus or Russia that applied for the open section of the 2022 Boston Marathon and 2022 Boston 5K. It will not apply to citizens of the two countries who no longer reside in one of the two countries.
But nobody will be allowed to compete under the flag of either of the two countries.
It may be a harsh stance, but it's one that many athletic organizations around the world are taking in response to the conflict.
The sooner the conflict is resolved, the sooner the sanctions will end.