Ice hockey IIHF rejects appeals by Russia and Belarus against the ban

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Disciplinary Committee has dismissed appeals by the Russian and Belarusian federations against the governing body’s decision to ban them from the competition over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

In February, the IIHF banned all Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs from participating in all age groups. It later moved the 2023 World Cup from St. Petersburg due to concerns over the welfare of players and officials.

Russia was also stripped of the rights to host the 2023 World Junior Championships.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February in what Moscow calls a “special military operation.” Belarus was an important base for the invasion.

“The independent IIHF Disciplinary Board has dismissed the appeals filed by the Russian and Belarusian Ice Hockey Federations against the IIHF Council’s decision,” the governing body said in a statement on Tuesday.

The IIHF added that its original decision was not a sanction but a “safety guideline.”

The decision can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.