— Published 1 June 2023

BWF turns back

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has changed course on the issue of Russia and Belarus. Having decided to maintain their exclusion from international competitions, the federation has now announced that it is considering reinstating them. But it will do so subject to conditions. In a press release published on its website on Wednesday May 31, the BWF explains that its board of directors met earlier this week to discuss the matter. In the end, it decided to propose a “regulatory and operational framework” for the back of Russian and Belarusian players, under neutral status, in international tournaments. The body explained that it wanted to align itself with the IOC’s position that athletes “should always be allowed to participate in sporting competitions without their passports being judged and independently of any geopolitical conflict beyond the control of the sporting movement.” That said, no timetable has been communicated by the BWF for a back for athletes from the two countries at war with Ukraine. The issue will be discussed again at the next board meeting, scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the Badminton World Championships, from August 21 to 27 in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the meantime, Russian and Belarusian players remain on the sidelines.