Athletics, skating, tennis, cycling, volleyball: sanctions spring up in Russia

Sanctions follow a day after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called for Russians to be banned from international sporting events: their tennis and cycling teams were excluded from certain sports as their footballers, athletes and skaters were banned. outside of these games, and the organization of the Volleyball World Cup has withdrawn from them.

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The IOC called for “not inviting or allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes and official representatives to participate in international competitions” and canceled all Olympic honors for senior officials, including Vladimir Putin, breaking a long tradition of political non-intervention. Or geopolitical debates.

So far, that suggestion appears to be largely followed through: Russia appears to be following the path of Slobodan Milosevic’s Yugoslavia and apartheid South Africa in the history of sports pariah.

FIFA and UEFA reacted immediately on Monday by excluding Russia from the World Cup, which was due to play Poland on March 24.

Announcements followed on Tuesday, notably from Russia for two particularly emblematic federations, ice skating and athletics, although the disciplines will organize world championships in Montpellier and Belgrade (room) next month, respectively. .

Dominating among women, the Russian won six medals including two in figure skating in Beijing. As for the athletes who were unable to play their home jerseys in Tokyo due to the doping scandal, they are watching their return to the track and field family: after Belgrade, they will also be excluded from the outdoor world in Eugene (Oregon). outside) next summer.

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has announced that it will commission another country to organize the World Cup, originally scheduled for August and September in Russia. She has been under pressure since France and Poland, respectively Olympic and world champions, announced they would boycott the games if not organised elsewhere.

Skiing, basketball, ice hockey, rugby: Russians are banned from many other sports. There will be no more professional boxing in a country that has been stripped of the Sochi Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Football Champions League final, two events of global significance that Moscow has become a vehicle for influence and communication.

FINA (swimming), which has cancelled all competitions on Russian soil, followed the advice less aggressively: Russians will be able to continue to line up, but as individuals, under no circumstances under the flag of Russia and in the name of Belarus .

Fencing made the same decision in a brief press release, and since 2008 the international federation has been led by Russian-Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov, the target of European sanctions, who has since quit. He is also financial home organization.

Another discipline where the Russians became a major force: tennis. First silenced, world authorities finally announced on Tuesday that they had excluded Russians and Belarusians from the Davis Cup and the Billy Jean Gold Cup, two competitions where Russia is the title holder. Russian and Belarusian players will also be able to continue to play on the tour, including the Grand Slams.

Daniil Medvedev, New World N.1, Andrey Rublev (N.6), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (N.14) or Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (N.3), will therefore be able to continue to line up in the tournament, starting March 10 Held in Indian Wells, California.

The International Cycling Federation (UCI) has also withdrawn its status from the Gazprom/RusVelo professional team. As the only high-level Russian formation in the international peloton, it will soon compete in three events on the world calendar, Italy’s Tireno-Adriatico and Milan-Sanremo, Spain’s Tour of Catalonia race. However, Russian and Belarusian players employed by other national teams will be able to continue to compete.

A senior IOC official, who asked not to be named, told AFP that the IOC’s splendid and historic status has taken many federations by surprise.

Some feared the fragility of its legal base, while Russia denounced its “discriminatory” nature and suggested they could challenge them, especially before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

But ahead of a possible appeal, the answers given on Tuesday were clearly in line with the IOC’s advice.

Among other decisions expected is that of the Haas Formula 1 team, whose main sponsor is Russian giant Ural Kali.

Meanwhile, global sports equipment giant Adidas has suspended its cooperation with the Russian Football Federation.

Another quick deadline is the Paralympic Games, which start on Friday. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.

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