FIBA suspends Russian basketball teams due to management issues

The teams' suspension by FIBA has put Russia's participation at the Rio 2016 Olympics in doubt.
By Jared M. Feldschreiber  |  July 29, 2015 at 5:09 PM
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MOSCOW, July 29 (UPI) -- The International Basketball Federation suspended all Russian national basketball teams from international competitions, Sergey Chernov, a member of FIBA's Executive Bureau, told Russian media on Wednesday.

The news comes after years of instability, which culminated in a court decision in June that forced the federation to hold new presidential elections, Interfax reported.

The teams' suspension by FIBA has put their participation in the Rio 2016 Olympics in doubt.

"Russia participation in the European Championship in the autumn and the 2016 Olympics is under a real threat," Sergei Chernov, the honorary president of the Russian Basketball Federation (RFB) 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."

The suspension is due to internal politics within the RFB. Yulia Anikeeva was elected its president in August 2013, but the results of the vote were later contested and a court told the federation to hold new elections, which are set for August 25. Former NBA player Andrei Kirilenko is set to stand as a candidate.

The letter, signed by FIBA officials, insisted that Russia can attempt to have it s ban lifted at a FIBA meeting on August 8.

"During FIBA's Central Commission meeting in Tokyo from August 8-9 we must try and find a way out of this situation. If this is approved by the federation, the disqualification will be rescinded."

The Russian men's national team -- winner of a Bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics -- has been in preparations for the European Basketball Championships.

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