"I don't have the desire to participate in an event that can result in serious injury to virtually anyone competing," the YouTuber wrote in a statement

By Ashley Boucher
May 22, 2019 06:55 PM

After knocking a man out cold while training for a slap competition, Logan Paul has opted out of the Russian contest.

“Due to an unforeseen and unfortunate incident that took place during practice today, I have decided not to participate in the upcoming slap competition,” Paul, 24, wrote in a statement he shared both on his Twitter account and in an Instagram Story on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Paul posted a video of the incident, in which he can be seen slapping a man who then falls to the ground.

“He’s f—ing out, roll him over,” a bystander says in the video. After the man falls, Paul looks at the camera wide-eyed and flexes.

“Based on today’s incident and the aftermath, it became clear that I don’t have the desire to participate in an event that can result in serious injury to virtually anyone competing,” Paul’s statement continued. “I have the deepest respect for the sport and athletes involved; however, I feel my decision will preserve the health and wellness of everyone competing.”

“I appreciate you taking the time to include me in the process and will absolutely continue to support the sport and your organization as a fan,” the YouTuber concluded. “Thank you for your understanding and mutual respect.”

Paul has been posting about the slap competition, which was scheduled to take place at the Fitness Weekend 2019 Expo on May 24-27, and invited fellow YouTubers to help him practice as recent as this past weekend. Paul was scheduled to go against Uncle Serozha and the Russian slap champion known as Dumpling, according to the event’s sponsor, Generation Iron.

“any youtuber crazy enough to let me practice smack them in the face before i head to Russia? you can smack me back. 1 for 1,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Logan Paul
| Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who has slapped with Paul before, answered, “Yes to bad I am out the country this would of been fun 🙂 be safe out there and good luck.”

Paul also reposted a video of a Russian contestant’s Instagram that called out his Instagram handle. “Practicing for the World Championship Russian Slapping competition #10Days,” Paul wrote in another tweet.

“Get ready as this will be one of the most spectacular and insane slap fights you have ever seen!” Generation Iron said when the contest, titled “THE BATTLE ON THE VOLGA,” was announced back in April.

In January 2018, Paul previously sparked controversy for a YouTube vlog post he uploaded that showed an alleged suicide victim’s body in Japan.

“I had never had a crisis before, ever,” Paul admitted to the Hollywood Reporter regarding the widespread criticism he faced in response to the video, which he deleted.

Paul also went on to apologize for the video and shut down his YouTube page before creating a seven-minute video, titled “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow, focused on raising awareness about suicide prevention.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).