Russia loses appeal against hockey ban


Russian skiers also received bad news on Tuesday afternoon

The International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) Disciplinary Board has thrown out an appeal from the Russian Ice Hockey Federation against the ban on Russian national teams from international competitions.

The IIHF’s Council handed down the ban at the end of February as a response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which meant that the men’s national team missed out on the World Championships in Finland this year.

Russia was also banned from hosting IIHF events, and was later stripped of the 2023 World Junior Championships and 2023 men’s World Championships. 

The rejection of the appeal was announced on the IIHF’s official website, and president Luc Tardif said he welcomed the move “which supports the IIHF Council’s decision to disallow the participation of the Russian and Belarusian teams and to withdraw the two World Championship program events that were scheduled to take place in Russia next season.”

“We maintain that this decision was taken out of concern for the safety and well-being of players, staff, officials, media, and spectators, and we are pleased that the Board has agreed,” Tardif added.

“The independent board supported our view that it would have been an unacceptable safety risk to either host the WM20 and WM in Russia or to have the Russian and Belarusian teams currently participating in IIHF competitions.”

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These moves also mean that Russian referees and officials cannot be used for international tournaments while Russians are also banned from maintaining potions on IIHF committees.

Now that the IIHF has thrown out the appeal, the Russian hockey federation can take its concerns to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, where other Russian sporting federations such as the Russian Football Union (RFU) have protested against similar actions from European and global authorities UEFA and FIFA.

In a further blow for Russian sports on Tuesday, the International Ski Federation (FIS) extended the suspension of Russian athletes until the end of the 2022 summer season, as also confirmed on its official website.

This decision was made at a FIS Council meeting in Zurich on Tuesday afternoon, and will be revisited “in the Autumn as the situation in the Ukraine evolves”.

As a consequence of the original ban, Russia lost the right to host the World Cup season finale in Tyumen which was penciled in for March 18 to 20.

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