MXGP rider thrown out mid-event as FIM issues ban on Russian competitors

Vsevolod Brylyakov has his FIM licence withdrawn midway through the second round of MXGP after Russia and Belarus is banned from FIM competitions

Vsevolod Brylyakov, MXGP

The FIM has announced it is issuing a ban on any Russian and Belarussian athlete competing in any of its governed motorcycle racing events as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Introduced on 5 March [Saturday], the ban was so immediate that it forced one Russian racer to stop competing mid-way through the second round of the MXGP series in Lombardia.

The FIM has become the latest sporting body to throw out athletes competing under the Russian and Belarussian flag after Russia - under the orders of President Vladimir Putin - rolled into Ukraine to start a vicious war on 25 February.

The impact has been felt across various cultural and sporting sectors with Russian and Belarussian athletes prevented from competing in Paralympics, while the F1 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi had its contract terminated. 

Separately, Nikita Mazepin and title sponsor Uralkali were dropped from the Haas F1 Team, though thus far the FIA hasn’t clamped down on Russian drivers competing.

Its FIM motorcycling counterpart, however, has issued stricter rules based on the decision of the International Olympic Committee.

From a motorcycle racing perspective, the ban has relatively minimal impact with no Russian rider listed to compete in any class of Grand Prix or WorldSBK/SSP and no Russia-based international short circuit event on the calendar.

However, the Russian round of MXGP of Russia in Orlyonok has been scrapped, while rider Vsevolod Brylyakov had his licence withdrawn moments after qualifying 19th in the Mantova MXGP this weekend.

Full statement from FIM

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.”