Russia and Belarussian bikesport events as well as riders, teams and officials are to be banned immediately from all FIM motorcycle events as a sanction against the invasion of Ukraine with immediate effect.
The news comes on the day that Vsevolod Brylyakov qualified 19th for the MXGP in Mantova. And it’s a week before Evgeny Bobryshev is due to start his British championship campaign. According to their most recent official results, both were classified as Russian in their last FIM-sanction world championship events under an international MFR Russian Federeration licence.
In car racing, the FIA has made a similar move but drivers can denounce their Russian status and drive under an FIA flag as an independent. It seems there is no such plan in the FIM. The official statement says: The FIM Board of Directors held an extraordinary meeting on 5 March 2022 in relation to the situation in Ukraine.
After having carefully considered the International Olympic Committee recommendations and the specificity of our sport, the Board of Directors has unanimously condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Henceforth the following provisional urgent and protective decisions have been taken which are effective immediately and stay in force until further notice:
• To suspend, for the Motorcycle Federation of Russia (MFR) and the Belarusian Federation of Motorcycle Sport (BFMS), the issuance of FIM licences and the FIM licences already distributed. To suspend the functions of persons from MFR and BFMS acting as FIM Officials and as Commissions members/experts/agents of the FIM. As a result, no Russian and Belarusian riders, teams and officials can take part in any FIM Events and activities.
• To suspend the registration of and to cancel all FIM Events such as FIM International Meetings, FIM World Championships and FIM Prize Events taking place in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and, if applicable, to relocate these FIM Events to another country.
• To interrupt any other FIM activities including but not limited to seminars, commissions meetings, training camps taking place in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
The FIM Board of Directors unanimously recommends to all Affiliated Members and Continental Unions to apply these measures at the national and continental levels.
The FIM President, Jorge Viegas added: “We stand in sympathy and solidarity with all those suffering, as a result of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and remain in close contact with our affiliate member in Ukraine (FMU). I would like to thank the FIM Board of Directors members in deciding these measures in the interests of sport and peace. The FIM, together with its promoters and organisers, already acted on this matter and cancelled the FIM competitions scheduled in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The decisions announced today are in line with the recommendations and statements made by the International Olympic Committee, adapted to suit our sport. The FIM family is watching the developments in Ukraine with great sadness and hope for a prompt and peaceful resolution.”