Banning Russia and Belarus riders on Zwift?

We have seen a lot of riders changing their flag to Ukraine or ‘riding for Ukraine’ but that is highly unlikely to get Putin to change his mind on invading Ukraine.
However, lots of online games and real world sporting organisations have been kicking off Russia and Belarus residents from their games and worlds. Given Zwift is generally a middle class pursuit, should Zwift ban Russian and Belarus riders from riding and remove the flag from the online choices or should this remain a platform of peace and people appreciating just riding?

Ban the people, I’d say no. Ban the flags, as the IOC and most other sports organizations have, yes, absolutely!


I thought about this as well, but came to the conclusion that this might make me feel good but will do nothing to help the Ukrainian people or convince Putin to stop the war. The Dictator in Russia doesn’t care if his people can’t access their cycling game, it will have no effect.


It’s a highly emotive topic, but we have to remember that it is the leaders of Russia/Belarus at fault, not the majority of people in either country.
Clubs/Organisations maybe, but individuals? I’m not sure that’ll have any desired effect.


I am split with it all. But haven’t the IOC and other orgs now banned people? Russian football clubs can’t play in european cups, the paralympics have now banned athletes.
But then Russia has also been banned from Eurovision but that is hardly likely to get Putin to pull out either.
And having Russian cyclists along seeing the strength of feeling in Zwift. I know it is all small beer but it all just feels such big boy games with us being the little peeps. What else active can we do other than virtue signal?


Sometimes a nod towards the vast feeling of injustice may be enough depending on where/when it’s displayed. People changing their flag on zwift may help keep it to the forefront of people’s minds more, however insignificant it may seem.
I’d imagine though any proper big events (sorry not familiar with the ins and outs of cycling bodies and events), any governing body or hosting platform (such as Zwift), would be under immense pressure not to allow any Belarussian or Russian ‘flag carrying’ teams or events.

They have, but I’m personally ok with elite sportspeople losing out given they are often state-sponsored (and not necessarily fairly either) and their success is propaganda for said state. Everyday folk, not so much. And who knows, Zwift might just be a social media platform they get access to, and a point of view from, that isn’t censored or fake news.


How about banning US riders after the genocide of:
1, 210000 in Iraq
2. 2000,000 in Vietnam
3. 150000 in Cambodia
4. 1.2 million in Korea - “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay,


Slippery slope indeed!

Where do you stop, how do you draw the line? The US is not a perfect nation and we have made many mistakes too.


Am not sure Donald that Zwift was around during those wars so would have been tricky to ban them.
As for North Korea. Strictly speaking it was under the United Nations banner that the war in the 50s was launched under - not a US one. Yes lots of Americans in it and led by them, but it was fought under the United Nations Joint Command flag…It is why North Korea became a hermit kingdom as massively distrusts the UN since it is the only war even fought under the UN banner.
Anyway I digress. I thought I would ask the question of lovely Zwift people as the war is a topic that is being discussed at every ride - even if in a lot of virtue signalling ways.


However, lots of online games and real world sporting organisations have been kicking off Russia and Belarus residents from their games and worlds.

The UCI has, if I recall correctly, ceased plans to host 2-3 races in Russia and Belarus. Some commercial sponsors decided to withdraw sponsorship of Gazprom-Rusvelo - both those entities are arms of the Russian government. Right now, the UCI isn’t forbidding individual Russian or Belarusian nationals from competing - in the Olympics, the case for doing that is based on the fact that Russia’s antidoping agency has been coopted by the government. Basically, you want to take action against entities that are connected to the state and its actions. And in Russia’s case, you want to take action against the oligarchs.

I think there’s no case to ban individual Zwift riders who are Russian or Belarusian nationals. The lower down you are, the less input you had in your dictators’ decisions to go invade someone. They may be blind to their dictators’ crimes, but they also live in a propaganda state.


Wow, what’s next? Going around harassing Russian people when you come across them? Zwift, please delete this thread.


Brilliant idea.

But the UK - killed hundreds of thousands before you even became a known country thanks to us.
The French Killed tens of thousands in Europe and Russia.
The Germans - Enough said - WW2.
The Spanish - Thousands.
The Italians - as Romans - Killed Hundreds of Thousands.
The Egyptians - Killed Thousands.
The Dutch - Killed Thousands during their expansions overseas
The Norwegians as Vikings Killed Hundreds of Thousands
The Zulus in Africa - Killed thousands

To be fair - every Country has Killed Thousands.

Get off your high horse about the stuff you think you know and realise that people are killed all the time by other people for religion and or profit.

Sad Fact

How ever, this war in Ukraine is unjust as they did nothing to provoke it and Mr Putin decided he wanted to turn the clock back to 1987 and have it all to himself.


Zwift won’t because that would reduce their monthly income. Those are paying customers and nothing more and nothing less to them.


Hey all - we understand where these sentiments are coming from, but we need to be clear on the original request upstream.

We do not plan to ban Russian people from using Zwift. We do not ban Zwift members based on race, religion, sexual orientation or any other identity, including nationalities.


Might i suggest another solidarity ride or few and donation to either the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. I personally donated, and I know Zwift has supported Doctors Without Borders in the past.

:peace_symbol: :ukraine:


Based on the erratic riding I saw from a Russian rider in a race the other day (the bike was sideways because of positional corrections like half the time; she was sporting a Ukrainian flag btw), I’d be prepared to say that the internet censors (Roskomnadzor) already make zwifting for riders in Russia unpleasant enough on their own…

And that doesn’t even count what we did to the indigenous people of north America before any of that happened!

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Don’t worry. Zwift will cut off these people when they can’t pay because their banking system has been cutoff.


Putin is the representative of Russians and the more we are able to do get the message to the average Russian people especially the middle classes in Russia the better chance of bringing pressure onto the Russian government and Putin.
I think zwift need to do all they can to help bring an end to the atrocities and murder carried out in the name of Russia. Doing nothing effectively condones this crime.
Remember people in Russia are not being bombed and their children killed… And all we are talking about is removing Russian and Belarus athletes from a training app.