MIES, Switzerland (AP) — Russia has been excluded from qualification for the men’s Olympic basketball tournament in Paris next year, basketball’s international governing body FIBA said Tuesday.
The decision was widely expected since FIBA has suspended Russia’s teams from international play since shortly after the invasion of Ukraine last year. The International Olympic Committee favors allowing individual athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus to compete as neutrals, but not as national teams, like in basketball.
Russia’s world ranking was high enough for it to play Olympic pre-qualifying tournaments this year, but that place will be given to Bulgaria as the next-highest-ranked team from Europe, FIBA said in a statement citing the IOC’s recommendations.
The Russian women’s team already missed out on qualification when it was suspended from the World Cup and EuroBasket qualification last year. Belarus cannot qualify men’s or women’s teams.
There was no information Tuesday from FIBA about 3-on-3 basketball, which is also an Olympic event.