Today, Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines (TASVG), the governing body for the sport of athletics in our country, joins the increasing number of organisations that constitute the global sports fraternity, in issuing the strongest possible condemnation of Russia for its despicable invasion of Ukraine, a nation that has been struggling to establish itself amongst the international community of democratic societies.
When the McLaren report was produced, our international governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) – now World Athletics – stood firm and issued the strongest sanctions of any international sport governing body, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the Russian Athletics governing body. This was duly overwhelmingly approved by the Congress. Those sanctions still stand after six years.
Today, we acknowledge the awakening of the international sports fraternity to the reality that the actions of the Russian government against the government and people of Ukraine cannot be tolerated and that it requires a very strong global response. Silence is not an option. As we watch the bombing of the Ukrainian people we acknowledge that silence may well be tantamount to complicity.
TASVG calls upon all of the members of the global athletics fraternity to stand together in our condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and insist on an international appeal for peace and a cessation of the conflict that is already claiming significant lives.
We join with international athletes who have already spoken out against the Russian invasion and declared their refusal to engage in any form of sporting contact with their Russian counterparts as long as the invasion continues.
Athletics has always been consistent in the leadership role it has played in sport. We choose to also lead in this time of a most disgusting attempt at justifying an invasion of Ukraine by the Russian administration.