BWF Officially Ban Russian and Belarusian Shuttlers from BWF-Sanctioned Tournaments

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Vladimir Ivanov (left)/Ivan Sozonov (second left) defeated Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan 21-23, 21-18, 21-16 to win the 2016 All England men's doubles title. (photo: BWF)
Vladimir Ivanov (left)/Ivan Sozonov (second left) defeated Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan 21-23, 21-18, 21-16 to win the 2016 All England men's doubles title. (photo: BWF)

Kuala Lumpur: In the statement released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Feb 28, 2022, it expressed disappointment over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and said that:

* All BWF sanctioned tournaments in Russia and Belarus are hereby canceled. No other BWF tournaments will be allocated to Russia or Belarus until further notice.

* The Russian and Belarusian national flags must not be displayed, and the Russian and Belarusian national anthems must not be played, at any BWF sanctioned tournament until further notice.

But on March 1, 2022, BWF stepped up its pressure on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine by officially banning Russian and Belarusian shuttlers from competing at any BWF-sanctioned International Tournaments until further notice.

“Following consultation with international sport movement partners overnight, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has updated its position regarding Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

BWF has strengthened its measures against the governments of Russia and Belarus by suspending athletes and officials representing these countries from participating in any BWF-sanctioned international tournaments until further notice.

This is in line with new recommendations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board released Monday aimed at preserving the integrity of competitions and ensuring the safety of all athletes. It also supports a united and coordinated approach within the sports movement in handing down sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

BWF already moved to cancel all BWF-sanctioned tournaments in Russia and Belarus effective immediately. The enforced non-participation of badminton athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus commences at the YONEX GAINWARD German Open 2022 (8-13 March).

Since the suspension of Russian and Belarus shuttlers will start at the 2022 German Open, Russia’s 2016 All England Champions and current World No. 15 men’s pair – Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov will be absent from both 2022 German Open and 2022 All England.

Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov were drawn to play Callum Hemming/Steven Stallwood of England in the German Open first round and World No. 7 Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia in the All England opener.

Not sure if Ivanov/Sozonov’s opponents would get a bye at these tournaments, or BWF would replace spots vacated by Russian and Belarusian players with players from the reserve list.

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