The ISU is witnessing with great disbelief the events unfolding in Ukraine and is deeply concerned about the safety of the skating family in Ukraine. Our hearts go out to all those affected and our thoughts are with the entire Ukrainian people and country. The ISU expresses its solidarity with all those affected by this conflict.
The ISU is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and also in the neighbouring countries where ISU Events are scheduled to be held during the coming weeks. Based on the currently available information, the ISU maintains all scheduled ISU Events as planned. It is to be noted that for the remainder of the current season 2021/22, there are no ISU Events planned in Russia and Belarus.
The ISU holds the safety of all Skaters as the highest priority and if additional security requirements are needed, the ISU will financially assist the organizing ISU Members in coping with this new situation.
Besides the developments in the Ukraine, the ISU is continually monitoring the pandemic situation and in particular the entry conditions in countries hosting ISU Events, as well as travel restrictions around the World. The ISU is currently faced with a critical situation for the holding of two ISU Championships in Canada during the ongoing season, namely the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, scheduled to be held in Montreal on March 18-20, 2022 and the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, scheduled to be held in Hamilton on April 7-9, 2022. Since the beginning of 2022, the Canadian Government has imposed a requirement that only foreign nationals who are fully vaccinated with a World Health Organization approved vaccine are permitted to enter Canada without a 14-day quarantine. Despite all possible efforts by the Canadian ISU Members (Speed Skating Canada and Skate Canada), it has been confirmed that there will be no exemption program in place for sporting events moving forward.
Even though the current restrictions might concern only a few ISU Members participating in the above-mentioned ISU Championships in Canada, it nevertheless results in an unsatisfactory situation for those ISU Members. Until today, the ISU Council had adopted a policy that does not allow the staging of ISU Championships under these circumstances and before the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, the ISU Council was prepared to consider re-allocation of the above-mentioned Championships to other ISU Members. However, due to the Ukrainian situation and related serious uncertainties, such relocation on short notice has become extremely complex and difficult.
Considering these truly extraordinary and exceptional circumstances the Council agreed that exceptional solutions must be applied. The Council consequently decided that:
The planned ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2022 in Montreal, CAN and the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2022 in Hamilton, CAN are maintained.
The ISU will financially support teams that have team members who do not fulfil the Canadian entry/vaccination requirements and who are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The ISU will financially support organizing ISU Members for additional expenses arising from either the pandemic and/or additional security requirements.
The ISU Council strongly emphasizes that this is an exceptional decision based on the truly extraordinary and exceptional circumstances resulting from both the pandemic and the Ukrainian crisis situation.
The possible re-allocation of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2022, which cannot be held as planned in Sofia, Bulgaria, remains under evaluation for a decision as soon as possible.
The ISU will keep ISU Members informed of any new developments.