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The international equality-in-sport charity, equitysport, have made a short statement following widespread reports that athletes from a number of countries, including Kenya, South Africa and Syria have had their requests for visas to enter the USA delayed or refused.

We are disappointed that athletes from across the world are, on the eve of the event, still encountering problems securing visas to enter the USA to compete at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

As it stands, a number of athletes, disproportionately affecting those from Africa and the Middle East, are being forced to either withdraw from the competition or prepare themselves to compete just hours after arriving in the country.

It is neither fair, nor equitable that the US visa system could have a significant impact on competition outcomes at these World Championships.

Sport promises an equal playing field for all its participants, no matter who they are or where they come from. In failing to prepare to welcome athletes from all parts of the world on an equal footing, World Athletics and the US-based organising committee have failed to deliver on that promise.


equitysport is a values-led registered charity (1189559) that exists to advance equality, promote diversity and extend equal opportunity in and through global sport. We seek an inclusive and equitable sporting ecosystem that lives true to the values of sport. For interviews or further comment from equitysport, please contact the team via

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