Basketball-FIBA bans Russia and Belarus from international competitions

FILE PHOTO: Basketball - Russia v Serbia - European Championships EuroBasket 2017 Semi-Final - Istanbul, Turkey - September 15, 2017 - Aleksei Shved of Russia and Bogdan Bogdanovic of Serbia in action. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

(Reuters) - The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on Wednesday excluded Russia and Belarus from participating and hosting international tournaments until further notice following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The men's teams of Russia and Belarus have been withdrawn from European qualifiers for the World Cup next year and are not being replaced.

Russia has called the invasion a "a special military operation" while Belarus has served as a key staging area.

Russia's women's team, who were due to play in the World Cup in Australia this year, have been withdrawn and replaced by Puerto Rico, while the Under-17 women's team of Russia have been replaced with Serbia for the World Cup in Hungary.

Neither country is allowed to participate in 3X3 competitions this year, including the World Cup.

Several sports federations have banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, and moved or cancelled events in the countries.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk, editing by Ed Osmond)

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