FIBA bans Russia, Belarus from Olympic men’s qualifiers

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The Russian and Belarus men’s basketball teams have been barred from competing in the second-chance qualification events for the 2024 Olympics, according to FIBA.

The International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, revealed the news on Tuesday.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, athletes from Russia and Belarus have faced penalties from a variety of sports.

As Moscow’s war on Ukraine enters its second year, the International Olympic Committee has suggested that athletes from Russia and Moscow’s ally Belarus compete in upcoming international competitions as individual neutrals.

“Following the IOC’s recommendations on the participation of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport in international competitions…the FIBA Executive Committee has decided not to allow the Russian men’s national team to register for the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments.” said a statement on the organisation’s website.

Russia and Belarus have been barred from competing in the 32-nation World Cup, which begins on August 25 in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia and serves as the key Olympic qualification event.

The pre-qualification rounds, which begin on August 12, provide another possibility for countries that did not make the World Cup to qualify for the 12-team Olympic event in Paris.

In women’s competition, the Russian and Belarussian teams were prevented from qualifying for the continent’s primary Olympic qualifier, the 16-team EuroBasket final tournament in June.

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