The Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday that Russians and Belarussians who currently reside in either country and signed up for the Boston Marathon as part of the open registration process will not be allowed to participate in this year’s race. The ban extends to the BAA 5K as well.
Russian and Belarussian citizens who reside in other countries will be allowed to compete but cannot 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 BAA President and CEO 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 BAA, its races and events will not recognize the country affiliation or flag of Russia or Belarus until further notice, the organization stated, adding that the 2022 Boston Marathon, BAA 5K, and BAA Invitational Mile do not include any professional or invited athletes from Russia or Belarus.
Reasonable attempts to refund entry fees to affected athletes will be made within the constraints as imposed by federal and international sanctions, the BAA stated.
Additionally, all Ukrainians who are registered for the Boston Marathon or the BAA 5K and are unable to compete will be offered a refund or the option to defer to a future year. According to a search of participants on the BAA website, there are 38 entrants who list Ukraine as their country of residence.
As I understand the effort to support Ukraine during this horrific conflict, this has to be one of the most gross displays of discrimination I’ve encountered here in town. If the BAA is this judgmental towards a nationality, who most I will say, do not support or stand with the Russian government and the atrocities being committed, my worry for other nationalities experiencing similar events in the future will be prohibited from participating in an international event which highlights inclusion, diversity and universality of thought in a common activity, running. Shame on the BAA!!!