Russia suspended from basketball by FIBA for infighting
MOSCOW (AP) The Russian Basketball Federation was suspended Wednesday by FIBA, meaning it could miss the European Championship that doubles as an Olympic qualifier.
The suspension comes after two years of infighting at the federation, which culminated last month when a Russian court ordered new elections for all senior federation posts.
An earlier court ruling overturned the federation’s 2013 presidential election result, in which Yulia Anikeeva defeated former WNBA player Svetlana Abrosimova, who alleged there were many breaches of election rules.
The federation posted a letter on its website from FIBA, addressed to Anikeeva, saying Russia’s suspension resulted from a lack of ”unity and stability” at the federation.
Basketball’s governing body said in a statement that the federation has been ”unable to resolve longstanding institutional and legal issues.”
”As a consequence, the RBF forfeits its rights as a member of FIBA, and its teams and officials may not participate in official competitions or activities,” FIBA said.
Russia’s men’s team won a bronze medal in 2012 under David Blatt, who has since left to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. Longtime top player Andrei Kirilenko retired from the NBA this past season.
The European Championship is in September. Russia is scheduled to open play against Israel on Sept. 5.
FIBA said the Russian federation could report on its situation at an upcoming board meeting in Tokyo on Aug. 8-9.
”It is FIBA’s hope that the situation be resolved by this date so that the suspension may be lifted to allow for the healthy development of basketball in Russia and the participation of Russian national teams in FIBA events,” FIBA said.