Russian billionaire skirts World Triathlon event ban with Canadian citizenship
Super League co-founder Leonid Boguslavsky holds Russian and Canadian citizenshipPhoto by: Super League Triathlon
Earlier today Triathlon Today posted a story about World Triathlon and its relationship with Super League Triathlon (SLT), which will be putting on the upcoming Esports World Championship Series. One of SLT’s co-founders is Leonid Boguslavsky (pictured, right, above, with Super League co-founders Michael Dhulst and Chris McCormack), who was listed by the US Treasury as one of the oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin in 2018. According to World Triathlon and Super League Triathlon, Boguslavsky was removed from the list in 2019 after he appealed.
World Triathlon has also said that Boguslavsky would be allowed to attend the upcoming Arena Games events because he has dual citizenship – Canadian and Russian. He could attend the events as a Canadian.
SLT issued a statement today to “set the record straight.” (You can read the full statement below.)
“Seeing what is happening in Ukraine I cannot remain silent,” Boguslavsky said in his own statement, which was reproduced by SLT. “I feel deeply about this catastrophic and unjustified war. I stand for peace, call for an immediate halt to the war in Ukraine and hope that we can begin rebuilding a safe, peaceful and interconnected world as soon as possible.”
When we asked why Boguslavsky referred to the situation in Ukraine as a “war” and not an “invasion,” SLT said that “this was just wording. No intent here.”
The SLT statement emphasizes Boguslavsky’s dual citizenship, saying he ““moved from Russia to Canada as a young man to work as a University Professor (as a visiting professor at the University of Toronto) and it was from here that he started an investment career that has turned into a global portfolio of successful businesses with offices in New York, London, Bangalore and Singapore.”
“To be clear,” the statement continues, “neither Leonid or any of his businesses have been subject to sanctions anywhere in the world. Leonid has no political ties to Russia and is a self-made man.” SLT says that “of his assets, only 1.1% has any relationship with Russia.”
According to SLT, Boguslavsky “was resident in Canada from 1991 to 1996 and his children grew up there and still live in Canada, including now his grandchildren.” While his Forbes profile lists his residence as Moscow, according to SLT Boguslavsky “is a resident and lives in Italy.”
Boguslavsky started competing in triathlon events in 2013 and qualified for the Ironman World Championship in 2015 thanks to a second-place finish in his age group at Ironman Chattanooga, but was unable to compete at the race because of an injury. He helped found Super League Triathlon in 2017 and is also an investor in Zwift.
Here is the SLT’s full statement:
Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, we at Super League Triathlon have been asked many questions because one of our Co-Founders, Leonid Boguslavsky, has dual Russian and Canadian citizenship. Now is the time to set the record straight.
Leonid is one of four shareholders in Super League Triathlon’s holding company, and as a Co-Founder he has been a driving force behind not only our development but also that of the sport which he loves.
Leonid has also issued his own statement today, which we reproduce here:
“Seeing what is happening in Ukraine I cannot remain silent. I feel deeply about this catastrophic and unjustified war.
“I believe that invention and entrepreneurship should be used to build a new, better world one with more joy and less suffering. That is why I have devoted more than 20 years of my life to supporting innovation globally.
“I stand for peace, call for an immediate halt to the war in Ukraine and hope that we can begin rebuilding a safe, peaceful and interconnected world as soon as possible.”
As for Leonid’s background, he moved from Russia to Canada as a young man to work as a University Professor, and it was from here that he started an investment career that has turned into a global portfolio of successful businesses with offices in New York. London. Bangalore and Singapore.
To be clear, neither Leonid nor any of his businesses have been subject to sanctions anywhere in the world. Leonid has no political ties to Russia and is a self-made man. The current discussions in triathlon media on his position are purely because he holds dual Russian and Canadian citizenship and is a successful individual.
Leonid is a triathlon man through and through. He has managed to qualify for Kona multiple times, and persevered despite now racing in pain after twice undergoing a full hip replacement.
His involvement with Super Leaque Triathlon is because he believes in triathlon and raising its popularity around the world, with the professionals at the heart of it and the heroes of it all.
At Super League Triathlon we have never sought to hide our affiliation with Leonid. To the contrary, we are proud he is part of our business.
Both Leonid and Super League Triathlon are committed to transparency about our business relationship, and we look forward to continuing our mission of growing triathlon and inspiring people around the world.
We also stand fully behind World Triathlon and its rulings.