Mariya Lasitskene is among Russian athletes now banned from the Diamond League ©Getty Images

The Diamond League has decided to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes from all of its track and field meetings for the foreseeable future.

The decision has been taken in response to Russia and Belarus invading Ukraine, and is in accordance with the stance adopted by the World Athletics Council.

Russian athletes were already unable to compete under their national flag owing to the suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), but could take part with Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) status.

Two ANAs - pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova and Olympic high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene - won Diamond League tiles in 2021, but will not be able to defend their titles this year.

"This recommendation follows the decision by many sports governing bodies and the decision made by the World Athletics Council and reflects the practical and logistical issues meetings may face if Authorised Neutral Athletes from Russia and athletes from Belarus were to be invited to compete", read a Diamond League statement.

Russian and Belarusian athletes cannot take part in Diamond League events for the foreseeable future ©Getty Images
Russian and Belarusian athletes cannot take part in Diamond League events for the foreseeable future ©Getty Images

This move also comes after a major recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in international sport and to stirp the country's of hosting rights for events in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

At least 726 civilians - including 52 children - have been killed since the invasion began in February, according to the United Nations, which fears that the true figure is far higher.

More than 3.1 million people have fled Ukraine.

The RusAF was suspended by World Athletics back in 2015 for a state-sponsored doping programme and Russians have been required to compete under a neutral flag ever since.

Russian and Belarusian athletes have also been barred from competing at the World Athletics Indoor Championships, beginning today in Belgrade.

The next scheduled Diamond League meeting is due to take place in Qatari capital Doha on May 13.