MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. Tennis table clubs representing Russia and Belarus have been barred from participating in the European competitions this summer, the press service of the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) announced in a statement.
"The ETTU Executive Board has decided that Russian and Belarusian clubs will not be invited to participate in any European Club competitions for the 2022-2023 season," the statement reads.
"The decision has been taken in line with the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and in accordance with the ETTU's previous decisions on this matter," the statement continued.
"The ETTU Executive Board believes that the decision is necessary in order to protect the safety of all participants and safeguard the integrity of the European Club competitions," according to the ETTU’s statement.
"This was reinforced by a recent survey of all European clubs participating in the 2021-2022 Champions League and Europe Cup competitions which found that a large majority of clubs would be unwilling to compete in Russia or Belarus and a large number would not even participate if clubs from these two countries are also participating in next season's competitions," the statement added.
On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments referring to a special military operation in Ukraine.
Following the IOC recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.
On March 2, the ITTF announced a decision to impose a temporary ban on the participation of Russian and Belarusian players in international competitions. The following day, the ETTU barred Russian clubs from all European competitions.
In late May, IOC President Thomas Bach stated that the world’s current situation was against the return of Russian athletes back to the international level of sports competitions.