The Badminton World Federation on Tuesday suspended athletes and officials of Russia and Belarus from participating at any BWF-sanctioned events owing to the Russia's invasion of Ukraine that has evoked worldwide condemnation.
The BWF said its decision was in line with the recent recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board, calling on international federations to suspend Russia, which has invaded Ukraine and found support from Belarus. "Following consultation with international sport movement partners overnight, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has updated its position regarding Russia's military invasion of Ukraine," the BWF said in a statement.
"BWF has strengthened its measures against the governments of Russia and Belarus by suspending athletes and officials representing these countries from participating at any BWF-sanctioned international tournaments until further notice." The BWF said it supports a united and coordinated approach within the sports movement in handing down sanctions against Russia and Belarus. BWF had already cancelled all its sanctioned tournaments in Russia and Belarus with immediate effect.
It further said that the enforced non-participation of badminton athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus commences at the YONEX GAINWARD German Open 2022 to be held from March 8 to 13. "A small number of Russian athletes competing in two back-to-back international Para badminton tournaments in Spain in Weeks 9 and 10 of the calendar will be allowed to participate as they have already arrived on location," BWF said.
"This is on the premise that it is not possible on short notice to enforce the suspension of players due to organisational reasons as per the IOC EB's latest resolution. These players, however, will compete as neutral athletes, with no national flags or anthems." The world body said it remains committed to supporting the people of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian badminton community, as part of the sports movement's mission to promote peace and solidarity between all people.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week triggered global condemnation and the country is being suspended from international sporting events. Most recently, Russian teams were suspended from all international football, including qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup. This was after the IOC Executive Board issued an "urgent recommendation not to organise any sports event in Russia or Belarus." IOC EB also strongly urged International Sports Federations and organisers of events to "do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus."