The International Blind Sports Federation made its decision in line with the International Paralympic Committee
Visually impaired Russian skier Iuliia Budaleeva pictured in 2014. © Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from competitions by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), which announced a “very difficult and painful decision” on Wednesday.
The IBSA confirmed the development through a statement on its official website written by president Sandro Di Girolamo.
“With reference to the decisions issued by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and on the basis of the official decisions made by other International Federations, we hereby inform our members that the IBSA Board has decided to suspend the national representatives of Russia and Belarus from all international events organized under the aegis of IBSA.
“It was a very difficult and painful decision because it is inevitably penalizing athletes who have no direct responsibility for the current international situation,” Di Girolamo conceded.
“But at the same time as having to provide political and strategic direction, we want to show our closeness to the Ukrainian people and to condemn all forms of violence and war. Clearly, we wish to reconsider this decision as soon as the situation will allow it,” the president finished.