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The R&A has joined other major sporting organisations in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, golf’s governing body denounced the attacks by Vladimir Putin and his forces, adding that it would refuse entry to all of its upcoming championships – both amateur and professional – to golfers from both Russia and its ally Belarus.

“As the global governing body of golf (outside the US and Mexico), The R&A deplores the actions of Russia in Ukraine and stands by the people of Ukraine and our friends at the Ukrainian Golf Federation,” read the statement on the R&A website.

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“We have considered the situation in the context of our direct responsibilities for governance, for staging golf events and for developing and investing in the sport around the world.”

The R&A said that whilst it is “not currently expecting entries from Russian or Belarusian golfers in scheduled R&A-qualifying events, championships or international matches in the upcoming season”, it added that, in the event that it was to receive entries, it would decline in line with recommendations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Golf Federation.

This would include The 150th Open, scheduled to take place in St Andrews this July.

The organisation is also reviewing the implications for matters such as international rankings and the World Handicap System.

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In addition to contributing to a humanitarian aid fund, the R&A has also pledged to offer direct support to the Ukrainian Golf Federation.  

The St Andrews-based body joins the likes of FIFA and UEFA in imposing sporting sanctions upon Russia and Belarus amid an escalation in Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. 

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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