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Ukraine lifts ban on athletes’ participation in sports tournaments in Russia

April 18, 18:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In mid-March, Ukrainian Sports Minister Igor Zhdanov issued an official directive banning national athletes from participating in all sports competitions held on the territory of Russia

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MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports has canceled its previous directive to prohibit national athletes from taking part in all sports competitions, including international tournaments, held on the territory of Russia, according to the document released by the Ukrainian Wrestling Association on Wednesday.

According to the text of the document, the Ukrainian Sports Ministry withdrew its direct order for national athletes to stay away from all international competitions hosted by Russia and added that athletes going to the neighboring country would not receive financial support from the state budget.

The press service of the Ukrainian Wrestling Association announced on Tuesday afternoon that the national freestyle wrestling team planned to take part in the European Wrestling Championship this year in Russia despite the national sports minister’s directive in March to boycott all athletic competitions in Russia.

In mid-March, Ukrainian Sports Minister Igor Zhdanov issued an official directive banning national athletes from participating in all sports competitions held on the territory of Russia.

President of the United World Wrestling (UWW) Nenad Lalovic said at that time that Ukraine’s possible boycott of the 2018 European Wrestling Championship in Russia would split the wrestling family and such decisions were inadmissible.

A document signed by Ukrainian Sport Minister Zhdanov on March 14 stated that athletes of Ukrainian national sports teams had been banned not only from participating in Russia-hosted competitions, but travelling to Russia for training camps as well.

The 2018 European Wrestling Championship is scheduled to be held between April 30 and May 6 in Russia’s southern city of Kaspiysk. Athletes representing 32 countries are expected to compete during the championship in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling both in men and women competitions.

Besides hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup (June 14-July 15) and the IBU World Cup in Tyumen (March 22-25), Russia is also the venue this year for the 2018 European Wrestling Championship (April 30 - May 6), the 2018 IIHF U18 Ice Hockey World Championship (April 19-29), the 2018 World University Boxing Championship (September 2-7) as well as the WTA and ATP tennis tournaments.

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