ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4/ KDXU) – Athletes from Russia and Belarus are banned from competing in the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St. George this year.

According to an official statement by The IRONMAN Group on Wednesday, a triathlon scheduled for St. Petersburg on July 17 has also been canceled. Russian and Belarusian athletes are also banned from competing in all events this year including two World Championships in Hawai'i and all triathlons including one in Dubai this weekend.

“While we recognize the difficult situation created for Russian and Belarusian athletes by these steps, we believe these are necessary to protect the integrity of our events,” says IRONMAN.

The move follows a string of sports league bans including the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) request to ban Russian athletes from international events and the UEFA removing the Champions League final from St. Petersburg.

FIFA also removed the national Russian soccer team from a 2022 World Cup qualifying game.

“The IRONMAN Group stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, our athletes, and their community, and condemns the actions dictated by Russian leadership during this deeply troubling crisis,” says IRONMAN.

All affected athletes will be receiving assistance from the group during this time.

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