In response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the WBA has announced a number of sanctions against the country, its ally Belarus, and athletes/officials from both nations. There’s some dumb fluff in there, including the announcement of a “campaign for Peace,” but here’s the actual meat:
- Russian and Belarusian fighters “will not be allowed to enter the ring with their flag, their anthem will not be played and the country will not be named.”
- They will also “temporarily” be excluded from next month’s rankings, not including champions.
- “No sanctioning of world and/or regional bouts” in either country, a plan apparently supported by all four major bodies.
- No officials from either country can work “world and/or regional championship fights.”
They follow in the footsteps of FIFA, which removed Russia from the World Cup earlier today, and the International Olympic Committee, which recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials be removed from all international events.
The most notable boxer potentially affected is Dmitry Bivol, who’s scheduled to defend his light heavyweight title against Canelo Alvarez this coming May. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope it’s all resolved by then.