Sanctions continued to rain yesterday, a day after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called for a ban on Russians and Belarusians from international sports: the organization of the Volleyball World Cup was withdrawn from Russia, and the usually so popular skaters will no longer be Ability to participate “until further notice”.
Late on Monday night, after a full day of debate, FIFA and UEFA finally ruled Russia out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where Russia will face Poland in a play-off on March 24. Various options including Russian clubs were stripped of any international competition “until further notice” according to a joint FIFA and UEFA decision, which also confirmed the termination of a sponsorship contract with gas giant Gazprom. The Russian Football Federation responded immediately, saying it “completely disagrees” with the measure, which “would have a discriminatory impact on a large number of players, coaches, club employees or national teams”.
The Europa League also suspended the three Russian clubs participating in the flagship European basketball competition on Monday night, but the sanctions announced by FIFA and UEFA were the most high-profile implementation of the IOC’s recommendations, breaking the news. A longstanding tradition of the International Olympic Committee. Be neutral in the political and geopolitical arena. Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdniakov said in a statement that the IOC’s decision “violates regulations and statutes, first and foremost the spirit of the Olympic Movement, which aims to Unity rather than division. Equality for athletes or participants in the Olympic Movement”.
The long-silent International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) finally announced yesterday that it will be entrusting the organization of the World Cup to another country, originally scheduled to take place in Russia in August and September next year. The FIVB has been under pressure since Olympic champions and world champions France and Poland announced they would boycott the competition if it was not held elsewhere. Russian athletes who won six Olympic medals, including two golds, at the recent Beijing Winter Olympics (February 4-20) will no longer compete. A decision “effective immediately” and “until further notice” designated the International Figure Skating Union (ISU), which also regulates speed skating and short track.
FINA is less aggressive
Badminton, alpine and cross-country skiing, rugby, ice hockey: Russians are also banned from many other sports. There will be no more professional boxing in a country that has been stripped of the Sochi F1 Grand Prix and the Football Champions League final, two events of global significance. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has canceled all competitions in Russia, but not so aggressively following the IOC’s advice: Russians will be able to continue to line up, but as individuals, never in the name of Russia and Belarus banner.
Another discipline where the Russians became a major force, tennis. As the WTA and ATP tournaments in Indian Wells, California, loom, the organizations that govern world tennis (WTA, ATP and ITF) have yet to make a statement. Much to the chagrin of Elina Svitolina and other Ukrainian players surprised by the WTA’s silence, it contrasted with its response in the Peng Shuai case. Svitolina, who is committed to the Monterey Championships, has refused to face Russian Anastasia Potapova in the first round and has warned she will maintain that stance until tennis authorities follow the IOC’s It is recommended to “accept only Russian nationals or Belarusians as neutral athletes who display no symbols, colours, flags or national anthems of their country”. Russians Daniel Medvedev (New World No. 1 since Monday), Andrei Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Belarusian Arina Sabalenka ( No. 3 in the world) are the biggest stars of the little yellow ball.
Furthermore, if Russian clubs have been suspended from EuroBasket, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) will “publish its position in accordance with laws and regulations,” one of its managers noted. Other pending decisions are those of the F1 Haas team, whose main sponsor is the Russian giant Uralkali, and the International Cycling Union (UCI) on the Gazprom/VéloRus team, which has to align in particular with Tirreno-Adriatico (March 7th). to 13) and Milan-Sanremo (March 19). The second men’s road cycling team has lost equipment supplier LOOK, who suspended his contract yesterday. Meanwhile, global sports equipment giant Adidas has suspended its cooperation with the Russian Football Federation. Another quick deadline is the Beijing Paralympics, which begin this Friday. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is scheduled to speak on the matter today.
What is the legal basis?
On the other hand, some Russian businessmen who invest in sports have become the object of Western economic sanctions. Among them, the chairman of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), who has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Russian Uzbek Alisher Usmanov announced his resignation.
A senior IOC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, noted that the spectacular and historic stance taken by the IOC took many federations by surprise. Sports bodies are concerned about the fragility of their legal base, while Russia has denounced the “discriminatory” nature of the sanctions it has imposed and suggested it could challenge them, especially before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). According to the senior official, “Federations that are financially dependent on the IOC are paying attention, other federations are raising questions about the format, which simply doesn’t work: there is no communication or politics, there are rules to follow. Respect”.
Sanctions continued to rain yesterday, a day after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called for a ban on Russians and Belarusians from participating in international sports: the organization of the Volleyball World Cup, withdrawn by Russia and its skaters, is as popular as usual, will Can no longer participate “until further notice”. Monday…