May 28, 2022


Today, Russian athletes who were supposed to compete in the Paralympic Winter Games, were banned from participating because of their home country’s invasion of Ukraine. These amateur athletes (71 Russians and 12 Belarussians) all have physical challenges and limitations, but have dedicated years of their lives for the chance to compete at the highest level. However, pressure on the International Paralympic Committee to ban the athletes culminated when western nations threatened boycott, and refused to compete against the Russians.

Also today, Russian athlete Nikita Mazepin, the Formula 1 driver and son of billionaire Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin, was granted permission to compete in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship because Mazepin has ‘…nothing to do with…’ his country’s invasion of Ukraine. The FIA will allow Russian and Belarussian athletes to race, as neutrals, and outlined exactly what drivers from those countries would and would not be allowed to do.

The FIAs points are:

  • The display of Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours or flags are banned in public and on social media platforms.
  • Russian/Belarusian flags, emblems, symbols, and words linked to the country are banned from display on uniforms, clothing, accessories and other personal items.
  • The singing or playing of the Russian/Belarusian national anthem at any event or area controlled by the FIA is outlawed.
  • Comments, actions or conduct that is prejudicial to the interests of the FIA, an in particular any support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is banned.

While the FIA has also not ruled out taking more action against Russian and Belarusian drivers, the hypocrisy of the difference in treatment of amateur athletes compared to rich-kid racers is stunning.

4 thoughts on “Hypocrisy

    1. Agreed. Formula 1 would have given itself such a black eye for allowing Mazepin to race. Surprised that a team like Haas chose to give up those millions of sponsorship rubles.

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