FIBA bans Russia and Belarus from participating in the men’s basketball Olympic qualifiers

The Russian and Belarusian men’s basketball teams have been excluded from the second chance qualifying tournaments for the 2024 Olympic Games, the International Basketball Federation, better known as FIBA, announced Tuesday.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have faced sanctions from a multitude of sports since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

As Moscow’s assault on Ukraine stretches into a second year, the International Olympic Committee has recommended allowing athletes from Russia and Moscow’s ally Belarus to compete as individual neutrals in upcoming international competitions.

“Following the IOC recommendations on the participation of athletes with Russian or Belarusian passports in international competitions… the FIBA ​​Executive Committee has decided not to allow the registration of the Russian men’s national team in the FIBA ​​2023 Olympic Prequalifying Tournaments”, said a statement on the organization’s website.

Russia and Belarus have been barred from qualifying for the 32-nation World Cup that will be held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia from August 25 and serves as the main Olympic qualifying event.

For teams that failed to make it to the World Cup, the pre-qualifying tournaments, which begin on August 12, offer another chance to qualify for the 12-team Olympic tournament in Paris.

In the women’s competition, teams from Russia and Belarus failed to qualify for the 16-team EuroBasket final tournament in June, which serves as the main Olympic qualifier for the continent.

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