Relief for Russia as FIBA allows team to compete

Sun Aug 9, 2015 5:46am EDT
 
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Governing body FIBA has lifted the ban on Russia, allowing the country to compete in next month's European championship and other international tournaments, Russian Basketball Federation (RFB) said on Sunday.

"Today, during a session in Tokyo, FIBA made the decision to allow Russian national teams to compete in international tournaments," the RFB said on its website (www.russiabasket.ru).

"This means that Russia will be able to compete in the European Basketball Championships," the federation said.

FIBA disqualified the RFB on July 29 and suspended the country's national teams from playing in international tournaments, including the European Championship which doubles as a qualifying competition for next year's Olympics in Rio.

"Russian national teams will be able to take part in all FIBA's tournaments, however sanctions in relation to members of the RFB will still remain in place," the Russian Deputy Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told the R-Sport agency.

FIBA cited government interference in the running of Russian basketball's governing body as the reason for slapping it with a ban.

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.

(Reporting By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)