The world governing body for badminton (BWF) said on Tuesday that players from Russia and Belarus would be banned from international tournaments from next week, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since the start of what Russian President Vladimir Putin has called “a special military operation” last week, sports bodies across the world have already moved against Russia and Belarus by refusing to host or play against teams from the countries.

The BWF’s move comes a day after it cancelled tournaments in Russia and Belarus and is in line with recommendations made by the International Olympic Committee executive board.

The BWF said the enforced non-participation of athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus would commence at the German Open from March 8-13.

It added that a small number of Russian athletes competing in two back-to-back international Para badminton tournaments in Spain will be allowed to participate as they have already arrived on location.

“These players, however, will compete as neutral athletes, with no national flags or anthems,” it said.

Swimming’s world governing body FINA, which on Monday called off the World Junior Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, said on Tuesday that Russian and Belarusian athletes would now compete as neutral athletes or neutral teams.

“No national symbols, colours, flags should be displayed or anthems should be played, in international Aquatics events which are not already part of the respective World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions for Russia,” FINA said.

It added that the FINA Order awarded to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014 has been withdrawn.

The Norwegian Skiing Association also announced on Tuesday that Russian and Belarusian skiers will not be allowed to take part in this weekend’s competitions in Norway.

(This story corrected headline and throughout to make clear only Badminton federation has banned Russian/Belarusian athletes. Swimming federation announced Russian/Belarusian athletes would compete as neutrals)

News Source : reuters.com

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