ISA firms up position on Russian athlete participation

With the ongoing aggression of Russia in the Ukraine and the IOCs recommendation to enable International Sports Federations to handle exclusion of Russian an Belorussian athletes individually, the ISA just released a statement.

Given the ISA will hold a SUP World Championships, we are assuming that the statement below is also true for SUP athletes. Even though group punishments can be discussed, we at the Stand Up Magazin stand with all organizations who are sanctioning anything affiliated to Russia.

At the same time we feel deeply sorry for the two promising Russian SUP girls we met at the ICF in Hungary back in 2021. (Elena Prokorova and Natalia Novitskaya) Their careers got destroyed by the mindless aggression of a mentally ill dictator.

Our heart and solidarity continues to stand with the people of Ukraine.

This is the message we just received from the ISA:

The ISA Executive Committee today decided to continue to exclude surfers from Russia from all ISA events.

The ISA does not currently have a member federation in Belarus, so athletes from that country are not eligible.

The ISA noted the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Executive Board recommendation on 28 March 2023 to enable International Sports Federations to implement their own policies regarding the participation of Russian and Belorussian competitors as neutral athletes in events under specific conditions. This IOC recommendation on neutral athletes does not apply to team sports nor team events.

ISA events are competitions with qualified teams who are entered by their National Surfing Federations. There is no provision in the ISA Rule Book for the participation of individuals outside their national teams, including for World Surfing Games and other events that play a part in athlete qualification for the Olympic Games via their National Olympic Committees.

The ISA will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and consult with other international sports organizations like the IOC to review athlete participation policies. Should circumstances change, the ISA will review its position and submit updated recommendations to its Executive Committee.

These decisions are the result of the ISA’s strong condemnation of the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine – a war which has been fought for more than a year. As a top priority, the ISA is ensuring the safety of the public, athletes and officials, and is protecting the integrity of its competitions.

The ISA continues to express its solidarity with the people and surfers from Ukraine.