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Boston Marathon bans runners from Russia and Belarus

BOSTON — Athletes from Russia and Belarus who previously agreed to compete in this year’s Boston Marathon and who currently reside in either country will no longer be allowed to participate, the Boston Marathon Association announced Wednesday.

The exclusion from the world’s oldest annual marathon also extends to athletes previously accepted into the BAA’s 5K event. However, this does not affect Russian or Belarusian athletes entered in the events who do not reside in the countries. They will be allowed to compete but will not be able to race under their country’s flag.

“Like so many others around the world, we are horrified and outraged by what we have seen and learned from the reports in Ukraine,” BAA President and CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement. “We believe that running is a global sport, and as such we must do what we can to show our support for the Ukrainian people.”

The BAA said it would not recognize the national affiliation or flags of Russia and Belarus until further notice. This year’s Boston Marathon, 5k and Invitational Mile do not include any professional or guest athletes from these countries.

Organizers said they will make reasonable efforts to refund entry fees to athletes who are no longer able to participate.

The BAA will also provide all Ukrainians who are registered for the marathon or 5K and cannot compete with a refund or an option to carry over to a future year.

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