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IIHF disciplinary board upholds ban on Russia, Belarus

Jan 13, 2022; San Jose, California, USA;  General view of a hockey stick before the start of the first period between the San Jose Sharks and the New York Rangers at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The disciplinary board of the International Ice Hockey Federation rejected appeals from Russia and Belarus that asked for their national teams to be reinstated to participate in IIHF competitions.

The international governing body banned both nations from international play on Feb. 28, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Belarus has supported the Russian effort.

At the time, the IIHF cited safety concerns as the reason for the ban. The organization also subsequently relocated two tournaments — the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2023 IIHF World Championship — from Russia to other nations.

“We welcome the decision of the independent IIHF Disciplinary Board, which supports the IIHF Council’s decision to disallow the participation of the Russian and Belarusian teams and to withdraw the two World Championship program events that were scheduled to take place in Russia next season,” IIHF president Luc Tardif said in a news release on Tuesday.

“We maintain that this decision was taken out of concern for the safety and well-being of players, staff, officials, media, and spectators, and we are pleased that the Board has agreed.”

Should the hockey federations of Russia and Belarus want to appeal the decision, they must do so with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

–Field Level Media