Dutch cycling federation imposes stricter measures on Russian and Belarusian riders than UCI

Riders from the two countries won't be able to ride at any race held in the Netherlands, under KNWU's rules

KNWU strict sanctions on Russian and Belarusian riders - no Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Netherlands' cycling federation, Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU), has adopted the recommendations proposed by the Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation (NOC*NSF) and has banned riders from Russia and Belarus from competing in races held in the country.

In a statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, KNWU also makes clear the national federation won't participate in any event or competition held in Russia or Belarus.

The statement from KNWU read: "As a federation, we will not participate in events or competitions in Russia and Belarus until further notice, we will not compete as a national selection against Russian and Belarusian cyclists and we will not admit them to competitions and events that are organized in the Netherlands. We will also advocate this line within the international cycling organisations.

"Meanwhile, our thoughts are first of all with everyone in Ukraine affected by this war. We hope that this terrible situation will come to an end soon."

KNWU is imposing stricter measures than the UCI, with cycling's governing body banning Russian and Belarusian teams with immediate effect, but still allowing individual riders from the two nations to compete neutrally. 

Despite the more severe KNWU sanctions, the UCI stated the Dutch federation's rules will take precedence over its own.

It said: "The UCI specifies that in the event of a State decreeing stricter measures regarding the participation of Russian or Belarusian riders or teams at competitions on their territory, these measures would take precedence over the decisions taken by the UCI."

Consequently, on the men's WorldTour, KNWU's rules affect Russian riders Alexandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers), and Belarusian Alexandr Riabushenko (Astana Qasaqstan), with nine Russian natives of the Gazprom-RusVelo squad also banned from Dutch races, such as Amstel Gold Race

>>> Who are the Gazprom-RusVelo cycling team and how are they linked to the Russian government?

Sivakov, who was born in Italy to Russian parents but grew up in France, could still compete in the Netherlands, though, with the UCI introducing a specific regulation allowing Russian and Belarusian licence-holders with more than one nationality to request to change their sporting nationality "without any restriction." 

On the Women's WorldTour, Russian riders Alena Ivanchenko and Maria Novolodskaia (both UAE Team ADQ), Tamara Donova-Balabolina, Diana Klimova and Gulnaz Khatuntseva (all Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad), and Belarusian Alena Amialiusik (Canyon//SRAM) will also be banned from Dutch races, such as Ronde van Drenthe, Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition and the Simac Ladies Tour.

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.