In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, the athletes from Russia and Belarus have been slapped with an indefinite ban from international gymnastics events by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). Alongside the athletes, all the officials including judges, have been barred from participation in FIG competitions as well as FIG-sanctioned competitions, the governing body announced on Friday. The World Curling Federation has also banned Russia for the rest of the season.
The ban will come into effect from this Monday onwards which means, Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials will be absent from the upcoming Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships, set to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan from 10th to 13th March.
“Given the massive escalation of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, the Executive Committee (EC) of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) held an emergency meeting today to discuss the necessity of adopting further emergency measures against Russia and Belarus, following those announced on 26 February,” the official statement from the FIG read.
“The EC took into account the latest recommendations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the stance of the FIG Athletes’ Commission and the deep concerns and positions expressed by many national Gymnastics federations, and decided that: Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, including judges, are not allowed to take part in FIG competitions or FIG-sanctioned competitions from 7 March 2022 until further notice,” the statement added.
Several major sporting events have already been pulled from Russia. The 2022 Winter Paralympics, currently taking place in Beijing, kicked off without Russian and Belarusian athletes. Russia has also been banned from the qualifying matches for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The gymnastics federation cancelled all World Cup and World Challenge Cup events that were to take place in either Russia or Belarus. The World Curling Federation had relocated its European championships, which was set to take place in the Russian city of Perm.
- The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials indefinitely from all international gymnastics events
- The World Curling Federation had relocated its European championships from Perm, Russia and banned the country for the rest of the season