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Gymnastics, curling latest to ban Russia

Russia has been banned from international gymnastics and curling events in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

The International Gymnastics Federation on Friday said Russian and Belarusian athletes or officials, including judges, will not be allowed to participate in sanctioned competitions, indefinitely.

The World Curling Federation has also banned Russia from its championships for the rest of the season.

Both sports had previously cancelled events scheduled in Russia.

International sports organisers are continuing to scramble to deal with the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began shortly after the end of the Beijing Olympics.

The Paralympics began on Friday without Russians or Belarusians after other athletes threatened to boycott rather than compete against them. Russia has also been banned from upcoming World Cup soccer qualifying matches.

Most major sporting events scheduled to take place in Russia have been pulled.

The World Curling Federation had already announced plans to relocate its European championships from Perm, Russia.

Friday’s announcement banned Russian teams from this year’s men’s, women’s, seniors, juniors, wheelchair and mixed doubles world championships.

The gymnastics federation had already cancelled all World Cup and World Challenge Cup events scheduled for Russia and Belarus, a close ally of Russia where troops were deployed before the invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. The new decision banned their athletes from upcoming events.

The French soccer league also decided on Friday to suspend coverage of its league in Russia with broadcaster Match TV.

Meanwhile, Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin and any others from Russia and Belarus aiming to compete in international motor sport events must sign a special Driver Commitment document, the ruling body FIA said on Friday.

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