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Sports federations – badminton, swimming ban athletes from Russia and Belarus

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Water polo – FINA Women’s World Table Tennis Championships Super Final 2021 – Semifinals – USA vs Russia – Olympic Indoor Pool, Athens, Greece – June 18, 2021 Match Overview REUTERS / Costas Baltas / File Photo

March 1, 2022

(Reuters) – The world’s badminton and swimming governing bodies suspended Russia and Belarus from international tournaments on Tuesday, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, though they said athletes would be allowed to compete under a neutral banner.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation” last week, sports bodies around the world have countered Russia and Belarus by refusing to host or play teams from countries.

The move by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) comes a day after the organization canceled tournaments in Russia and Belarus and is in line with the recommendation of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.

The BWF said the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from taking part will begin at the German Open March 8-13.

A small number of Russian athletes competing in two head-to-head international Para badminton tournaments in Spain will be allowed to participate because they have arrived at the venue, the BWF said.

“However, these players will compete as neutral athletes, with no national flags or anthems,” it said.

Swimming’s world governing body FINA, which on Monday canceled the World Junior Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, also said that Russian and Belarusian athletes will now compete as athletes. neutral athlete or neutral team.

FINA said: “Do not display national symbols, colors, flags or play the national anthem during international water sports events that are not covered by World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions against Russia. ,” said FINA.

It added that the FINA Order given to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014 has been revoked.

The Norwegian Ski Association also announced on Tuesday that Russian and Belarusian skiers will not be allowed to participate in this weekend’s competitions in Norway.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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