Badminton, rowing and skiing federations ban athletes from Russia and Belarus

Vladimir Ivanov of Russia prepares to serve during his opening match of the 2010 Badminton World Championships at Coubertin Stadium in Paris August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

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Mar 1 (Reuters) – Other sports federations on Tuesday sanctioned Russian and Belarusian athletes over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with governing bodies for badminton, rowing and skiing banning athletes from the two countries from international competitions.

Since the start of what Russian President Vladimir Putin last week called “a special military operation,” sports federations around the world have already cracked down on Russia and Belarus by refusing to host or oppose teams from those countries play. Continue reading

Belarus was a key theater of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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On Monday, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from participating in events.

The move of the Badminton Federation (BWF) comes one day after the cancellation of tournaments in Russia and Belarus. Continue reading

The BWF said the ban on athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus would start at the German Open from March 8-13, but it allows Russian players to play in two para-badminton tournaments in Spain this week as they have already arrived on site.

“However, these players will compete as neutral athletes, with no national flags or anthems,” the BWF added.

World Rowing has banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from its international competitions, effective immediately and until further notice.

“World Rowing condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian military invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent violation of the Olympic truce,” the governing body said.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) said its council voted unanimously to follow the recommendations of the IOC Executive Board.

“With immediate effect, no Russian or Belarusian athlete will be allowed to participate in any FIS competition at any level until the end of the 2021-2022 season,” the FIS said in a statement.

The world swimming federation FINA, which canceled the junior swimming world championships in Kazan, Russia on Sunday, said on Tuesday that Russian and Belarusian athletes would only compete as neutral athletes or neutral teams.

“No national symbols, colors, flags or anthems should be played at international watersports events that are not already part of the respective World Anti-Doping Agency’s sanctions for Russia,” FINA said.

It added that the FINA order given to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014 has been withdrawn.

On Monday, football’s governing bodies FIFA and UEFA suspended Russia’s national teams and clubs, making it likely that the country will be banned from this year’s men’s World Cup and 2022 European Women’s Championship. Continue reading

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) also called for a total ban on athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus, including the Beijing Paralympics, which begin on Friday.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Sunday that it “acted quickly” to indefinitely cancel all events in Russia and that no ITF events would be held in Belarus in 2022.

The ITF was responding to calls from the Ukrainian Tennis Federation to immediately ban Russia and Belarus from the organization and to ban Russia from team and individual tournaments. Continue reading

However, the sport’s two professional tours, the men’s ATP and the women’s WTA, have so far not announced any action against Russia or Belarus.

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina refused to play Russia’s Anastasia Potapova at the Monterrey Open, saying she would not play against Russians or Belarusians until sports federations implement the IOC’s recommendations. Continue reading

Other Ukrainian tennis players, including Marta Kostyuk and Lesia Tsurenko, have called on the WTA to withdraw all tournaments from Russia.

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Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Pritha Sarkar

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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