The UCI approves IOC recommendations of 28 March 2023 concerning the participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in international competitions, and adapts its directives on their participation in events on the UCI International Calendar

At its meeting held from 2 to 4 May in Cagliari, Sardinia (Italy), the Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) took a number of decisions in relation to the sanctions against Russia and Belarus following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

These decisions are in line with the ad hoc UCI Regulation of 1st March 2022 specifying the measures against Russia and Belarus, the Resolution in relation to the position of the Olympic Movement concerning the sanctions taken against Russia and Belarus adopted by the UCI on 3 February 2023 - which was in line with the meetings of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board of 25 January and 7 December 2022 as well as the 11th Olympic Summit of 9 December 2022 - and the UCI's support for the IOC Executive Board Resolution of 28 March 2023.

Within the framework of its Management Committee, and in general, the UCI has decided:

  • To reiterate its firm condemnation of the aggression of Ukraine by the Russian government, supported by the Belarusian government, and to call once again for a rapid resolution of the conflict in accordance with the provisions of international law.

  • To restate its commitment to political neutrality.

  • To underline the right of all athletes, regardless of their nationality, to be treated without discrimination, as requested by the experts mandated by the United Nations (UN) to carry out a study on the situation of human rights in the world in their conclusions of 1st February 2023.

Regarding its support for Ukraine, the UCI has also decided:

  • To continue its financial support of the Ukrainian Cycling Federation and its athletes with a new financial contribution of 100,000 Swiss francs, of which 20,000 Swiss francs will be allocated by the European Cycling Union (Union Européenne de Cyclisme - UEC).

  • To host at the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland, cyclists aiming to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, with the objective of qualifying a maximum of Ukrainian athletes for the event.

  • To provide technical and material support to the Ukrainian Cycling Federation to enable its athletes to continue training and racing, as was the case in 2022, when assistance vehicles were made available to Ukrainian riders and staff, and a credit of 600,000 Swiss francs was made available for this purpose, making the UCI the first International Federation to support Ukrainian athletes.

  • Support for Ukraine is a priority for the UCI Management Committee to enable Ukrainian athletes to participate in official events and qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in competitions on the UCI International Calendar, the UCI has decided:

  • To authorise, under strict conditions, the participation of athletes of Russian and Belarusian sporting nationality in events on the UCI International Calendar, including UCI World Cup and UCI Nations Cup events and UCI World Championships, as "neutral individual athletes", without them having any involvement or association with the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus, their National Federation or National Olympic Committee. Any person wishing to obtain the status of "neutral individual athlete" will have to apply to the UCI within the framework of a procedure which will lead, if the conditions are met, to the issue of this status by the UCI. The possibility of participating in international competitions as a "neutral individual athlete" will become effective from 1st June.

  • To maintain the authorisation applied since 1st March 2022 to riders of Russian and Belarusian nationality to participate in events on the UCI International Calendar, as well as in UCI World Cups in certain disciplines, with their UCI registered team (or club team) provided that the team is not of Russian or Belarusian nationality.

  • To impose a strict requirement of neutrality with regard to the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus for any participation in a competition on the UCI International Calendar, based on the following principles:

    • no contractual or other link with the army of the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus, or with any state security agency;

    • no communication around Russia or Belarus by not associating in any way with flags, emblems, anthems or any other symbols of the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus;

    • no active support for the war in Ukraine in any form of verbal, non-verbal or written expression.

The participation of riders as neutral individual athletes is accompanied by several measures, described in Annex 1 of the ad hoc Regulation, aimed at ensuring strict compliance with the neutrality requirements. Indeed, various measures have been put in place to allow athletes to participate without any reference to or association with the flags, emblems or colours of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. Furthermore, the UCI will put in place the relevant measures to verify compliance with these rules and will sanction any non-compliance.

In the field of anti-doping, the UCI shall study the relevance of specific procedures and rules in this area, in collaboration with the International Testing Agency (ITA).

In addition, the UCI Management Committee maintains the following sanctions, which were enacted on 1 March 2022, and which will remain in place until further notice:

  • a ban on any participation of national teams composed of riders of Russian and Belarusian sporting nationality in events on the UCI International Calendar;

  • a ban on the registration of any event taking place on the territory of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus on the UCI International Calendar;

  • the non-recognition of any bid to host UCI World Cup events or UCI World Championships in Russia or Belarus;

  • the ban on registering National Championships of Russia and Belarus on the UCI International Calendar, the non-recognition of National Championships held during the period of validity of the ad hoc Regulation and the ban on wearing the National Champion jersey;

  • the non-acceptance of any application for registration of Russian and Belarusian teams as UCI Teams in any discipline;

  • a ban on sponsorship by Russian and Belarusian companies or brands, with the possibility of granting derogations if the sponsor can clearly demonstrate that it has no direct or indirect links with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus and does not benefit from the war of these countries;

  • the ban of the use of any emblem, name, acronym, flag or anthem linked to Russia or Belarus;

  • the special regime allowing riders holding more than one nationality on 1st March 2022 to change their sporting nationality without restriction on participation.