Protest Against the Inclusion of Russian Military Personnel in Competitions




Dear Leadership of the World Triathlon,

We are writing to you with profound anger and disappointment regarding the continued inclusion of Russian athletes in international competitions. It is appalling that we have yet to receive a response to our previous correspondence on this grave matter.

The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought immense suffering and destruction, most recently exemplified by a terror attack on a children’s hospital. This heinous act, targeting the most vulnerable and innocent members of society, has shocked and horrified the world. Amid such barbarity, it is utterly incomprehensible that athletes affiliated with the Russian military are allowed to compete in international events. This is not only a disgrace but also a direct slap in the face to the values of humanity and justice.

Diana Isakova, a lieutenant in the Russian army, was permitted to compete and even win a bronze medal at the World Triathlon Cup in Tiszaujvaros; Denis Kolobrodov is a sergeant in the Russian army; Ilya Prasolov, a lieutenant in the Russian army, as well as Grigory Antipov and Georgiy Klimenko, also participated in this competition. These individuals, who are active members of the military and actively supporting invasion responsible for heinous acts in Ukraine, should have no place in events that are meant to celebrate peace, unity, and fair competition.

Allowing these Russian military personnel to participate in international competitions is tantamount to endorsing the Russian government’s brutal aggression. This blatant disregard for the suffering in Ukraine is deplorable, especially when so many European nations are standing firmly against this invasion. It is beyond comprehension how the World Triathlon can condone such participation, undermining the solidarity shown by the global community in support of Ukraine’s fight for freedom and democracy.

The recent bombing of the biggest children’s hospital is a particularly egregious example of the war crimes being committed by Russian forces. This attack killed and injured innocent children and medical staff, causing untold grief and trauma. The hospital, a supposed sanctuary of healing, was turned into a scene of carnage. This appalling act highlights the ruthless nature of the Russian military, making it even more unacceptable that their athletes are allowed to compete internationally as if they were representatives of a peaceful nation.

The inclusion of such athletes, who are members of the Russian military and actively supporting the war, is not just an oversight; it is a moral failing of the highest order. It sends a message that the international sporting community is willing to turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by the Russian military. This is a betrayal of the very principles that sports are supposed to embody: respect, integrity, and solidarity.

We demand that the World Triathlon Executive Board immediately ban Russian athletes with military affiliations from participating in international competitions. The integrity of sport and the principles it stands for must be upheld. This issue cannot be ignored, and action must be taken now to rectify this egregious wrong.

Furthermore, we insist on being informed if the stance on Russian athletes has changed, and if so, we demand that this be communicated to us in writing. The continued allowance of Russian military personnel in international competitions is not only deplorable but disgusting.

We expect a prompt and decisive response to this urgent matter. The world is watching, and it is imperative that the World Triathlon aligns itself with justice and humanity.


Bogdan Mykhalus
President of the Ukrainian Triathlon Federation

Protest Against the Inclusion of Russian Military Personnel in Competitions