Getty Images: Shved & Kirilenko hug it out after winning Bronze in London.
The Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) plan to fight a ban layed down on them by FIBA today that could see them in-eligible to participate in the upcoming Eurobasket 2015 Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The RBF has had some internal issues recently and due to confusion over the RBF’s management structure has lead to FIBA laying down the ban on the Federation.
On the ban, FIBA released the below statement:
The FIBA Executive Committee decided on Wednesday to suspend with immediate effect the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) in view of the fact that the RBF has been unable to resolve longstanding institutional and legal issues preventing the Federation to work under proper conditions and maintain full control and governance in the country, as proven by the recently published Court decision against the RBF.
As a consequence, the RBF forfeits its rights as member of FIBA, and its teams and officials may not participate in official competitions or activities.
Considering the calendar of upcoming events and meetings, the suspension will not affect the status of Russian national teams and officials currently in competition or in the U18 European Championship Women starting on Thursday 30 July, as well as in the youth 3×3 Competitions.
In order to exhibit FIBA’s continuous efforts to regularise the situation of the RBF, the Executive Committee invited the RBF to give a report on the situation at the upcoming FIBA Central Board meeting to be held in Tokyo on 8-9 August.
It is FIBA’s hope that the situation be resolved by this date so that the suspension may be lifted to allow for the healthy development of basketball in Russia and the participation of Russian national teams in FIBA events.
Later on today, Russia confirmed that they had received the ban from FIBA on their website and said that they plan to fight the sanctions.
Former NBA star Andrei Kirilenko spoke to TASS on the situation:
“This is not news for me, but once again nobody wants to assume responsibility for this.
“We are losing more and more of our positions and the sooner the issue with (RBF) elections is settled the sooner the work will start.”
“The most important for FIBA is the legitimacy and transparency in all legal aspects,” he said. “We do not have it at the moment and we received a relevant reaction.”
The Russian Men’s National Team is currently ranked 6th in the World and picked up the Bronze Medal at London 2012. It’s Eurobasket squad was expected to include Brooklyn Nets wing Sergey Karasev and former Knick Alexey Shved. Star center Timofey Mozgov had ruled himself out of the tournament due to knee surgery.