FISU ban on Russian athletes continues
The International University Sports Federation Executive Committee has announced that it will decide this fall whether to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the 2023 FISU World University Winter Games, set for Jan. 12 to 22 in Lake Placid.
Adirondack North Country Sports Council Executive Director Ashley Walden said the FISU ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes is a direct response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Athletes from these two countries haven’t been able to compete in FISU events this year. The ban is expected to be lifted at the end of this year.
FISU first raised a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Russian troops used Belarusian territory to invade Ukraine early in the war, according to The Associated Press, and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has publicly defended Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past.
The FISU Executive Committee announced at a meeting last week that it expects to make a decision by this October on whether to extend its ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes through the 2023 Games, Walden said.
An international call resurfaced this week to continue bans on Russian and Belarusian in international sporting federations. The U.S. Department of State on Tuesday revived its March 8 call for Russian and Belarusian sport national governing bodies to be suspended from international sporting federations; to prevent international sporting events from being broadcast into Russia or Belarus; and for people who are closely affiliated with Russia or Belarus and hold “positions of influence” with international sporting federations to step down from their positions. Tuesday’s statement from the U.S. Department of State was cosigned by representatives from more than 30 other countries — mostly from Europe. Representatives from China, India and Africa also signed on to the statement.