IIHF bans Belarus hockey president for five years for code of conduct violations - Federation Focus

Also: no contested election for next ITTF president; BWF calendar shrinks as event in India cancelled due to pandemic; FISU announces early bids for 2027 and 2029 World University Games

Dmitri Baskov (BIHA)
Dmitri Baskov (BIHA)

The International Ice Hockey Federation suspends Belarusian Ice Hockey Association President Dmitri Baskov for five years for violating the IIHF Code of Conduct.

Following a 10-month IIHF investigation, the federation’s Independent Disciplinary Board found that Baskov “has tried to directly influence others to support the Belarus government and has threatened and discriminated Belarusian athletes because of their political opinion”.

Baskov was also found to have “abused his position as a representative of ice hockey in order to support the current President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko”.

A separate investigation by an independent firm failed to find that Baskov was involved in the death of Roman Bondarenko during a peaceful protest in Belarus in November 2020 against the Lukashenko regime.

The IIHF said the evaluation of media reports, audio recording and photographs concluded ”although it cannot be excluded that Baskov was present at the event, it did not find evidence for an active involvement of Baskov in the attack against Bondarenko.”

Widespread protests across Belarus began in August 2020 shortly after Lukashenko, who is often referred to as Europe’s last dictator, claimed to have won an election that most view as rigged.

In December, the IOC banned Lukashenko, who was the Belarus NOC president at the time, his son Viktor and Baskov from attending any IOC events including Olympics for failing to protect Belarusian athletes from political discrimination.

Baskov’s IIHF ban begins on September 10 and will end on September 9, 2026.

No Contested Election for Next ITTF President

Petra Sorling running unopposed for ITTF president. (ITTF)
Petra Sorling running unopposed for ITTF president. (ITTF)

Petra Sörling of Sweden is poised to become the next International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President after being confirmed as the only candidate for the position at the organization’s Annual General Assembly (AGM) in November.

Sörling would be the first female president in the federation’s history.

Current president Thomas Weikert announced last month that he would not to run for re-election.

While there is no competition for the top job in the federation, there are 17 candidates vying for the eight available ITTF Executive Vice President positions when the vote takes place in Houston, Texas on November 24.

The new president and the eight executive vice presidents, once elected, will join the ITTF Athletes Commission Chair Zoran Primorac and IOC Member Ryu Seungmin to complete the 11-member ITTF Executive Committee.

BWF Calendar Loses Syed Modi International 2021 in India

EFE/EPA/TIM KEETON/Archivo
EFE/EPA/TIM KEETON/Archivo

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) tournament calendar for 2021 has shrunk after the cancellation of the Syed Modi International 2021 was announced.

The decision to cancel the tournament was ultimately made by the Badminton Association of India in consultation with local health authorities and the BWF.

The tournament, scheduled for October 12 to 17 in Lucknow, was the ninth Super 300 level tournament to be cancelled this year. The YONEX Taipei Open 2021 was scuppered by the pandemic in August.

A statement that came along with the announcement read, “The cancellation is unfortunate however BWF remains committed to delivering a safe and structured series of badminton tournaments for the rest of the year.”

The Syed Modi International 2021 was originally due to be the first HSBC BWF World Tour competition held after the completion of the BWF Thomas & Uber Cups. That honor will now go to the VICTOR Denmark Open 2021.

FISU Announces Early Bids for the 2027 and 2029 World University Games

At a time when interest in hosting multi-sports games seems to be waning, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) continues to find candidates for their flagship events.

FISU secretary general Eric Saintrond (FISU)
FISU secretary general Eric Saintrond (FISU)

The host cities for the 2023 and 2025 FISU World University Games have already been announced, and now it has been revealed that the United States of America and Republic of Korea have entered the bid process to host the 2027 or 2029 FISU World University Games.

In a statement, FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond said, “It is very encouraging to see such a strong interest to host the future editions of the FISU World University Games in 2027 and 2029, despite the current pandemic situation.”

“In this time of great uncertainty surrounding the feasibility of major international sports events, receiving two strong bids the same day that FISU opened its bidding process is a positive sign of things to come, not only for FISU but also for the world of international sports. This demonstrates that our events have great value for the cities who organise them, and also shows that sport is considered an important aspect of our global community, even in the midst of a pandemic.”

Both the United States and South Korea have previous hosting experience when it comes to the FISU World University Games. South Korea hosted a winter edition of the Games in 1997, and two editions of the summer Games in 2003 and 2015. The United States hosted a summer edition of the Games in 1993, and a winter edition of the Games at Lake Placid, New York in 1972. The FISU World University Games are actually set to return to the United States once more with a winter edition scheduled to be held at Lake Placid in 2023. The bid process for the 2027 and 2029 FISU World University Games will close on January 31, 2022.

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