— Published 21 April 2023

Russians and Belarusians remain suspended

The two camps are filled, in the Olympic movement, on the question of a back of the Russian and Belarussian athletes on the international scene. Unlike modern pentathlon, badminton has chosen to maintain their exclusion from its competitions. The World Badminton Federation (BWF) said in a statement on Thursday, April 20, that its executive committee had decided to extend the suspension of players and officials from both countries. Badminton joins, among the summer Olympic sports, athletics and horse riding. In its press release, the BWF justifies its position by a concern “to preserve the integrity of badminton competitions and to ensure the safety of all athletes“. It continues: “BWF acknowledges that sport should foster peace and solidarity between all people, and that sport should not become a political vehicle for influence in geo-politics. In that sense, the guiding principle is that athletes should always be allowed to participate in sport competitions without judgement of their passport and separate of any geo-political conflict outside the control of the sports movement. However, in sight of risks to players and events that could arise by re-opening participation, plus steps to seek more clarity on IOC’s complex criteria for allowing participation, and any such repercussions this may have, including conditions related to Olympic qualification and potential participation in Paris 2024, BWF is not convinced there is satisfactory justification to lift the suspensions on Russian and Belarussian players and officials at this time.”