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Factbox: Sports react to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine



 A summary of some measures taken by sports federations following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) recommendations to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from competing in events and to move or cancel any events set to take place in the two countries.

Belarus has been a key staging area for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


World Archery said it would remove Russian and Belarusian flags and anthems from all international tournaments.

It added there are no events planned in the two countries and no future events would take place there.



World Athletics banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from all events for the foreseeable future, and added that its council also agreed to consider further measures, including the suspension of the Belarus Federation.


The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has banned all athletes and officials representing Russia and Belarus from participating in its events.

The decision follows the cancellation of all BWF events which should have taken place in the two countries and represents a step-up from its previous ban on Russian and Belarusian flags and anthems at the federation’s events.



The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) said it would ban Russian athletes and officials from its competitions until further notice.

FIBA’s top board will meet on March 25 to discuss whether to take further measures.

Euroleague Basketball suspended Russian teams CSKA Moscow, UNICS Kazan, Zenit St Petersburg, and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar from participating in its championships.

“Should the situation not evolve in a favourable way, all regular season games versus Russian teams to be annulled to configure the leagues’ standings,” it said in a statement.

It also froze its sponsorship deal with Russia’s VTB Bank.



The International Biathlon Union (IBU) said it would not allow athletes to represent Russia and Belarus at its events but would invite individual athletes from these countries to compete as neutrals.


The International Sport Climbing Federation (IFSC) suspended the Boulder and Speed World Cup scheduled for April in Moscow.

It added it plans to relocate the event.



The World Curling Federation proposed the introduction of a new rule which, if approved, would allow the federation to ban Russia from the upcoming World Championships.

It had previously resolved to move the 2022 European Curling Championship away from Russian city Perm.


The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) executive board called for all international events to be removed from Russia and Belarus.



The International Fencing Federation (FIE) said it had implemented the IOC’s recommendation from Feb. 25 to move or cancel events in Russia and Belarus, adding that further discussions on the matter were taking place. read more

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov resigned from his post as FIE president citing European Union restrictions following Russia’s invasion. read more


The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) cancelled all its events in Russia and Belarus, adding it would not allocate other events to the two countries until further notice.


“The Russian and Belarusian national flags must not be displayed, and the Russian and Belarusian anthems must not be played at any FIG-sanctioned events until further notice,” it said.


The International Hockey Federation (FIH) excluded Russia from the Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup, which will take place in April in South Africa.


The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) banned Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs from its competitions until further notice.


It also revoked Russia’s hosting rights to the 2023 World Junior Championship and will look for a new host in the next months.


The International Judo Federation (IJF) cancelled the Grand Slam in Kazan, Russia, which should have taken place in May.

It also suspended Russian president Vladimir Putin’s status as honorary president and ambassador of the IJF.



The World Karate Federation said it would relocate the 2022 Karate1-Premier League, originally schedule to take place in Moscow in October, to a new location.


The international modern pentathlon union (UIPM) said it would not allow Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials to take part in its competitions.


Formula One said it would not race in Russia this season, saying it was “impossible” to do so after the country invaded neighbouring Ukraine.


A race scheduled for Sept. 25 at Sochi’s Olympic park will be dropped from the calendar for the first time since it debuted in 2014.

Motorsports’ governing body FIA condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but said Russian and Belarusian drivers could compete in a neutral capacity, as long as they committed to its principles of peace and political neutrality.


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



World Rugby banned Russia and Belarus from all international rugby and cross-border club rugby activities until further notice.

It also suspended the World Rugby membership of the rugby union of Russia until further notice.


The International Skating Union said Russian and Belarusian skaters could no longer be invited or allowed to take part in international ice skating competitions.



The International Skiing Federation (FIS) said Russian and Belarusian athletes will not participate in its competitions for the rest of the 2021-2022 season.

It also cancelled the remaining 2021-2022 events that were initially meant to take place in Russia.


The International Surfing Association (ISA) said no athletes and officials from Russia would be invited to participate or attend its events until further notice.



FIFA and UEFA suspended Russia’s national teams and clubs from international football, a move which makes it likely that Russia will be excluded from this year’s World Cup and the women’s Euro 2020 tournament.


The World Squash Federation said it would relocate the 2022 World Junior Championship from St Petersburg to a different location.


Swimming global governing body FINA called off the World Junior Swimming Championships that were to take place in Kazan, Russia.



World Taekwondo said no Russian nor Belarusian flags and anthems would be displayed and played at its events, adding it would not also organise nor recognise events in Russia and Belarus.

It also revoked the honorary 9th dan black belt conferred to Putin in November 2013.


Tennis’s international governing bodies said Russian and Belarusian players could continue to compete in international events and the Grand Slams but no longer under the name or flag of their nations until further notice.


The International Tennis Federation (ITF) cancelled all of its events in Russia and Belarus.

It also suspended the countries’ ITF memberships, banning their federations from ITF international team competition until further notice.


World volleyball’s governing body FIVB said all Russian and Belarusian teams, clubs, officials, and athletes were not eligible to participate in international and continental events until further notice.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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