Russia handed FIBA ban, Olympic qualification in doubt

Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:46pm EDT
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Basketball Federation (RFB) has been suspended by governing body FIBA, putting their participation in the 2016 Olympics in doubt.

The RFB published a letter from FIBA on their website on Wednesday stating that the Russian federation had been immediately disqualified from competition.

This comes after years of instability at the RFB, which culminated in a June court decision that forced the federation to hold new presidential elections.

The suspension, if still in place, will rule them out of the European Championship in September, which doubles as a qualifying competition for the Olympics.

"Russia's participation in the European Championship in the autumn and the 2016 Olympics is under a real threat," the honorary president of the RFB Sergei Chernov told TASS.

"We all need to think together how to find a way out of this situation. This includes the RFB, the sports ministry, the Russian Olympic Committee. They all need to think," he added.

Yulia Anikeeva was elected the RFB's president in August 2013, but the results of the vote were later contested and a court told the federation to hold new elections.

These are due to take place on Aug. 25 and former NBA player Andrei Kirilenko is set to stand as a candidate.   Continued...