The World Triathlon Executive Board has approved an update on the competition rules for the Arena Games Triathlon just ahead of the second event of the 2022 season, which will take place this weekend in London. The Board also discussed the situation with Ukrainian athletes and the ban on Russia and Belarus athletes and officials, as well as the policies for new transgender athletes’ eligibility rules.

The Board approved an amendment on the Arena Games Triathlon rules that will come into place immediately. One of the rules amended is that the Zwift bike drafting function might be allowed or disabled now in races. This function will be disabled for the London race. The athletes were informed of the planned change during the athletes’ briefing. Drafting was enabled in the Arena Games Triathlon Series opener in Munich, and came most into play in the men’s event.

Another rule change will be that spitting during the competition will now incur a 5-second penalty instead of disqualification. Under the updated rules, athletes are now allowed to use the treadmill handrail for mounting or dismounting. Additionally, the handle bars can be used in case of emergency to avoid falling. Contact with the handrail cannot be longer than three (3) seconds.

A further amendment to the rules adds that athletes can dismount their bike by having a full foot in contact with the ground only when the bike segment has been completed and the relevant message is shown on the screen in front of them, they cannot jump off the bicycle and leave their avatar rolling to the end of the bike segment. This action will result in immediate disqualification.

Please read here all the rules of the Arena Games Triathlon and the amendments to the rules approved by the Executive Board.

Situation with the Ukrainian crisis

The Executive Board received an update on the situation with Ukrainian athletes that are currently displaced in other countries and receiving support from many National Federations and private individuals, as well as Europe Triathlon and World Triathlon. Ukrainian elite athletes and para athletes will be able to start the Championship Series season in Yokohama in May thanks to the funding of the Japanese Triathlon Union, and will continue training and racing in Europe throughout the season thanks to the commitment and financial support of Europe Triathlon and other NFs. The Board also approved to establish a fund of 40,000 USD to support these athletes across 2022.

World Triathlon’s Board decided to maintain the ban on Russia and Belarus athletes and officials, who will not be able to compete or officiate for the time being.

Transgender policy

The Executive Board had the opportunity to discuss the policy for new transgender athletes’ eligibility rules. After listening to all the input from the Medical Committee, Athletes Committee, Coaches Committee, Technical Committee, Women’s Committee and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commission, the Board acknowledged the importance of hearing the opinions of all the stakeholders involved, including the transgender community, in this issue, and decided to postpone the approval of any policy until the next meeting, that will take place on the 26 May 2022.