MotoGP

FIM announces ban on Russian, Belarusian licence holders


Furthermore, the motorcycle governing body will cancel any events in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and try to relocate them to other countries.

These decisions were taken in an extraordinary meeting by the FIM on the eve of the MotoGP season opener in Qatar and follows Russia’s invasion of neighbouring country Ukraine, formerly a part of the USSR, for which it has received worldwide condemnation.

The FIM said it took into consideration the recommendations of the Olympic Committee and condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prompting it to take immediate effect.

It added that other measures taken include an intention to “interrupt any other FIM activities including, but not limited to, seminars, commissions meetings, training camps taking place in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine”.

The FIM’s strong stance against Russian licence holders contrasts strongly with that of the FIA, the governing body for four-wheeled motorsport, which recently allowed all Russian and Belarusian drivers to continue to race provided they switched to a neutral licence and followed certain guidelines.

However, several national motorsport bodies, including Motorsport UK in Britain and the DMSB in Germany, have elected to outlaw Russian and Belarusian-licenced drivers, teams and officials from competing in four-wheel championships on their home ground.

“We stand in sympathy and solidarity with all those suffering, as a result of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and remain in close contact with our affiliate member in Ukraine [FMU],” said FIM president Jorge Viegas.

“I would like to thank the FIM Board of Directors members in deciding these measures in the interests of sport and peace.

“The FIM, together with its promoters and organisers, already acted on this matter and cancelled the FIM competitions scheduled in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

“The decisions announced today are in line with the recommendations and statements made by the International Olympic Committee, adapted to suit our sport.

“The FIM family is watching the developments in Ukraine with great sadness and hope for a prompt and peaceful resolution.”

The Igora Drive track near St Petersburg in Russia was a reserve circuit for MotoGP last year, but Saturday’s announcement effectively confirms that it won’t keep the same role in 2022.

Earlier this week, Honda MotoGP star Marc Marquez said the support sporting championships and leagues around the world were offering to people in Ukraine was not enough as “there are people much more important than us who must stop this”.


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