(Reuters) – Russia will remain banned from international basketball with its men’s national team not being allowed to participate in this year’s Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournaments, FIBA’s Executive Committee announced on Tuesday.
Russia who were 12th at the previous FIBA Men’s World Cup in 2019, last qualified for the Olympics in 2012, winning bronze medal with a line-up that included former NBA player Andrei Kirilenko.
“Following the IOC recommendations on the participation of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport in international competitions published on 28 March, the FIBA Executive Committee has decided to not allow the registration of the Russian men’s national team,” the governing body said in a statement.
The Pre-Qualification Tournaments, which were introduced this year, will be played by 40 countries in total, with 28 that participated in the Second Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers plus the top-ranked 12 that did not participate in the second round.
Bulgaria will replace the Russian team as the next highest ranked European squad.
The event will be held from August 12 to 20, with the five winners earning spots in the FIBA Olympic Qualification Tournaments in 2024.
(Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City; Editing by Lincoln Feast)