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Europe’s basketball EuroLeague bars Russian clubs; annuls their previous records

As the Russian basketball club’s press office reports, this decision was made in view of Russia’s ongoing military operation on the territory of Ukraine

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. The Executive Board of the Basketball European League (EuroLeague) ruled on Tuesday to bar all Russian professional basketball clubs from the 2021/2022 season and to annul all of their previous results, the press office of Russia’s CSKA basketball club said in a statement.

According to the Russian basketball club’s press office, this decision was made in view of Russia’s ongoing military operation on the territory of Ukraine.

"To withdraw the participation of Russian Federation teams in both the EuroLeague (CSKA Moscow, UNICS Kazan, Zenit St Petersburg) and the EuroCup (Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar) for the 2021-22 season, as the situation in Ukraine has not evolved in a favorable way," the Russian basketball club’s press service said in its statement.

"As announced after the ECA Shareholders Executive Board held on February 28th, 2022, all regular season game results versus Russian teams will be removed from any calculation of EuroLeague and EuroCup team standings," the statement from the Russian basketball club’s press office added.

On February 28, the administration of the EuroLeague Basketball suspended all Russian basketball clubs from their further participation in European tournaments. A statement from the European basketball body said at that time that previously recorded results of Russian clubs would be annulled in case of unfavorable developments in Ukraine.

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees at a ceremony in the Kremlin recognizing the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR). Putin met with DPR leader Denis Pushilin and LPR leader Leonid Pasechnik, and signed treaties with them on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid between Russia and both republics.

President Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request from the heads of the Donbass republics, he had decided to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from the Kiev regime’s abuse and genocide for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory.

The Russian Defense Ministry had reassured earlier that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, and were limited to conducting surgical strikes and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure, insisting that there is no threat whatsoever to the civilian population.