KUALA-LUMPUR, July 30. /TASS/. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) will lift its suspension on Russia from its participation in international tournaments after the country’s governing body of basketball elects legitimate administration, a top-level Russian Olympic official told TASS on Thursday.
Sergey Chernov, one of Russia’s FIBA executives, told TASS on Wednesday that RBF received a letter from the international federation and it states that the Russian basketball federation was not listed among the FIBA members.
According to various reports, FIBA’s sanctions came as a result of Russian courts interference in the decisions of the RBF while governments are not allowed to interfere into the activities of the public sports organizations.
"It has been repeatedly stated that all misfortunes in our basketball evolve from the lack of the legitimate management in the [Russian Basketball] Federation," Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, said in an interview with TASS.
"That is why we need to urgently hold elections and form a normal and effectively operating Federation. I am sure that as soon as the Federation elects a new president, who will be widely recognized, including in the International [Basketball] Federation…, all problems will disappear," Zhukov said adding that FIBA representatives would be definitely present at the elections of the RBF president and the Executive Committee.
The Russian men’s national basketball team was already in preparations for the European Basketball Championship on September 5-20, which is also the qualifying tournament of the European teams for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. FIBA’s suspension on Wednesday jeopardized Russia’s participation in the European Championships.
Commenting on Russia’s possible absence at the European Championships, Zhukov, who is currently attending the 128th International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) session in Kuala Lumpur, said such a development was "absurd."
"Of course it will be absurd that the Russian team, which is one of the best teams in the world, misses an opportunity of playing at the European Championships, thus losing the chance of going to the [2016 Summer] Olympics," the ROC president said.
At the previous Summer Olympic Games, hosted by London in 2012, the Russian basketball team won the bronze, while Spain was left with silver losing to the United States in the match for the Olympic Champions’ title.