The invasion of Ukraine by Russia one week ago has basically made the country a pariah in more ways than one, including on the sports scene.

Many international sport organizations have told Russian athletes and teams to stay away until further notice and that now includes the Arctic Winter Games.

The Games’ international committee on Tuesday evening officially suspended the Yamal delegation of Russia from the AWG program with immediate effect, citing the “attacks unfolding in Ukraine”. The suspension was announced through a press release issued by Moira Lassen, the international committee’s operations co-ordinator.

“The Arctic Winter Games International Committee is deeply concerned regarding the ongoing events in Ukraine and the grave impacts on human life,” stated John Flynn, president of the international committee, in the release. “We join our global partners in calling for peace.”

The release did not make clear how long the suspension was for but at the present time, it means that Yamal will not be part of the 2023 AWG in Fort McMurray, Alta., this coming January. There was also no indication as to the status of Yamal’s scheduled hosting of the AWG in 2026 after the international committee awarded it to the region in fall 2020.

Yamal has been a part of the AWG program since 2004.

This story will be updated.

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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