In 2019, the last Boston Marathon not affected by the pandemic, 59 runners in a field of more than 30,000 were from Russia and Belarus.

Boston Marathon organisers did not say how many Russian or Belarusian athletes had entered this year's showpiece.
Boston Marathon organisers did not say how many Russian or Belarusian athletes had entered this year's showpiece. (Reuters)

Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from taking part in this year's Boston Marathon because of Russian onslaught on Ukraine.

Russian and Belarusian athletes living in their respective countries are barred from the April 18 race, the Boston Athletic Association said.

However, Russian and Belarusian citizens not residing in either country would be allowed to take part, but not under the flag of either nation.

"Like so many around the world we are horrified and outraged by what we have seen and learned from the reporting in Ukraine," Boston Athletic Association chief executive Tom Grilk said.

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"We believe that running is a global sport, and as such, we must do what we can to show our support to the people of Ukraine," Grilk added in a statement.

The statement did not say how many Russian or Belarusian athletes had entered this year's showpiece.

The Boston Marathon, one of the world's major marathons, is returning to its traditional April slot this year after disruption caused by the pandemic.

The race was cancelled in 2020 and then held in October in 2021 with a smaller-than-usual field.

Russia has been increasingly isolated by the sporting world following the country's attacks on Ukraine.

Football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA have suspended Russia from all international competitions, including the World Cup, while organisations such as Formula One have cancelled events in Russia.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies