The Russian-Ukrainian conflict also affects the ice skating community

Even before the end of the Olympics, speculation about the World Figure Skating Championships, to be held from March 20 in Montpellier, France, had begun. Will new Olympic champion Nathan Chen defend his title? Would Yuzuru Hanyu try to win back his own – and maybe land a quadruple axel in the process? Would Kamila Valieva be allowed to compete? (Last week, the answer to this question was yes.)

That was before the horrible news from Russia and Ukraine. Yesterday, after the International Olympic Committee recommended Russian athletes be banned from international competition, Nathalie Péchalat, president of the French Figure Skating Federation, announced that no Russian or Belarusian skaters would be allowed to compete in France. (Some members of the Russian team had previously said they would change their travel plans to circumvent the ban on Russian planes in French airspace.)

Today, the International Skating Union issued this statement: “Following the recommendation of the IOC, in order to protect the integrity of ice skating competitions and for the safety of all participants in international ice skating competitions … no skaters belonging to ISU members in Russia (Russian Skating Union and Russian Figure Skating Federation) and Belarus (Belarusian Skating Union) will be invited or allowed to participate in international ice skating competitions , including ISU Championships and other ISU events. The same applies to officials listed in respective ISU communications and/or regulations under Russia and Belarus.” the announcement that FIFA, the international governing body of football, had banned Russia from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

This morning, the ISU website had not updated its official list of Worlds participants, but Hanyu, who is still nursing an ankle injury, will be absent.

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