Russian and Belarusian citizens are barred from taking part in the annual Tallinn Ironman triathlon this August, even under a neutral flag. The announcement follows an overall ban on citizens of both countries taking part in sports activities in Estonia.
A statement on the competition's official website says: "Athletes who are citizens of the Russian Federation or Belarus will not be able to participate in this year's Ironman or Ironman 70.3 events in Tallinn."
"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 and show solidarity to the Ukrainian people fighting for their home country. All Russian and Belarusian athletes have received further communication with options available to them," the statement continues, adding that the organizing team stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
The statement also notes both that Estonia is no longer granting visas inside the Russian Federation or in Belarus, and that the culture ministry has announced that citizens of both countries are barred from taking part in sporting events in Estonia.
The Ironman series as a whole has not made the same decision, to date, ERR's Sports portal reports.
Tallinn Ironman is due to take place on August 6.
Sport in Estonia falls under the culture ministry's remit.
Editor: Andrew Whyte