Russian Surfing Federation issues statement after ISA bans Russian athletes

The Ukrainian national surfing team competing in the final in Odessa in the Black Sea of ​​Ukraine at the Ukrainian National Championships. Photo: USF/Courtesy ISA

This ban is in line with the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This means that “no athletes and officials from Russia will be invited to participate or attend ISA events until further notice”. Additionally, the ISA states that it “will not be considering hosting ISA events in Russia in the foreseeable future.”

“The global surfing community is shocked and appalled by Russia’s horrific act of aggression and Belarus’ role in facilitating their invasion of Ukraine,” the ISA said in a statement posted on its website and distributed by e-mail. “We are unequivocal in our views on this crisis and we stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. This is a human tragedy that requires all of us to take a strong stand and send the message that such violence will neither be tolerated nor forgotten.

“The decisions of the ISA serve to ensure the safety of the public, athletes and officials, and to protect the integrity of our competitions,” the statement continued. “We remain in contact with the Ukrainian Surfing Federation to offer support to the Ukrainian surfing community and we hope that peace will be restored as soon as possible.”

The Russian Surfing Federation, which bills itself as the governing body of Russian surfing, took to Instagram to issue a statement in response. Here it is in full, via Google Translate:

Today the Russian Surfing Federation held a meeting to discuss the position on the sanctions that all Russian athletes have fallen to due to the current political situation in the world.

Following the Russian Olympic Committee @olympic_russia and in support of our talented athletes, we would like to stress that sport cannot be politicized; sport unites, does not discriminate and cannot be a tool of manipulation; the exclusion of Russian athletes from international competitions is illegal and contrary to Olympic principles.

On our side, we will immediately send our application to the International Surfing Federation (ISA) and the European Surfing Federation in order to protect the rights of our athletes to participate in international competitions and to take all possible measures to stop discrimination. .

Events in Ukraine have impacted nearly everything around the world, from financial markets to supply chains, prompting the ISA’s actions.

Although many Russian citizens opposed the war – as well as a handful of extraordinarily wealthy Russian businessmen (one of whom offered a million dollar bounty for Putin’s arrest), one can imagine that it could be difficult for a Russian entity to come and oppose Putin. He is said to have long carried out brutalities against his enemies.

Hopefully the Russian surfing populace can offer empathy and understanding for human connectedness, but with its statement, the Russian Surfing Federation certainly didn’t seem to embrace the aloha spirit of surfing.

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