ISU Council Meeting to determine future of Russia and Belarus in Ice Skating

The ISU has been paying close attention to the situation in Ukraine and how it may affect its operations as well as the conversations taking place within the Olympic Movement.

Figure Skating (In a file photo, Credits -official website of the Olympics)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Apr 7, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The International Skating Union (ISU) has declared that its future conference, which will either be in June or October, will determine whether Russian and Belarusian competitors will compete in international tournaments. The decision is in accordance with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) advice to sports federations to permit specific Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals, providing that they do not publicly support the invasion of Ukraine or have any connections to the military. 

Some have argued that the IOC did not go far enough in holding Russia and Belarus accountable for their conduct in allowing individual athletes from those countries to compete as neutrals. However, others have welcomed the decision, arguing that it allows individual athletes who have not been involved in any wrongdoing to compete.

Read More-Figure Skating Calendar 2022-23: LIVE Streaming, When and Where to Watch, Schedule

What did the ISU say to the TASS?

The International Skating Union (ISU) has been paying close attention to the situation in Ukraine and how it may affect its operations as well as the conversations taking place within the Olympic Movement. The governing body mentioned the IOC’s announcement about athletes with Russian or Belarusian passports competing internationally in a statement to the Russian state news agency TASS. Given that the ice skating season is rapidly drawing to an end, the ISU Council intends to talk about the issue at its upcoming meeting in either June or October.

What can be the possible impact?

When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the IOC first suggested a total ban on Russia and Belarus. The IOC has now changed its stand, allowing specific athletes from these countries to take part as neutrals if certain requirements are met. In reaction to the IOC’s proposal, the ISU suspended Russian and Belarusian athletes on March 1, 2022. 

However, according to reports, the Russian athletes who were suspended by the ISU have filed an appeal, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport is scheduled to hold a hearing on May 2. The Hollins Trophy International in figure skating, which is set to take place from June 9 to 12, might invite the athletes back if they are reinstated.

Given the current political atmosphere, the choice regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian sportsmen in international tournaments will be crucial. Due to Russia and Belarus’ conduct in Ukraine, numerous nations have put restrictions on them, and there is increasing pressure on international sporting organizations to take a position on the matter. 

The upcoming ISU Council meeting will be widely followed by the global sports community since it will reveal crucial details about how the group intends to handle the present political situation. The final choice it makes will have a big impact on ice skating and international sports development as a whole.

The International Skating Union is responsible for overseeing competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short-track speed skating. It is one of the oldest international sports federations, having been founded in Scheveningen, Netherlands, in July 1892. The current president of the ISU is Kim Jae-soul of South Korea.

Read More-Winter Youth Olympics Gangwon 2024: New Slogan Unveiled