(Reuters) – The International University Sports Federation (FISU) said on Friday it has decided to postpone the Russian city of Yekaterinburg’s hosting rights for the 2023 World University Games.
FISU has already barred Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from taking part in its events until at least the end of the year over Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.
It has also stripped Russia and Belarus of three events scheduled to take place in 2022.
Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin – who last year vacated his position as president of FISU over a court ruling on Russian doping violations – said last month that Russia would invite “friendly countries” to take part in its national university games.
Following Russia’s military intervention, for which Belarus has been a key staging area, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that international federations bar both Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.
Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Peter Rutherford)