ISSF has banned shooters from Russia and Belarus from all its events owing to the invasion of Ukraine that has triggered global outrage. The decision came even as a World Cup takes place in Cairo, Egypt where Russian shooters were competing till Tuesday. The statement from ISSF now indicates that they may no longer be able to continue in the event.
“Following the respective decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board and a meeting with the IOC President, the ISSF decided that athletes from the Russian Federation and Belarus will not be allowed to take part in ISSF Championships,” the ISSF said.
“This decision entered into force at 16.00 CET (8.30pm IST) on March 1, 2022 and is valid until upon further notice,” it added.
Incidentally, the ISSF is currently headed by a Russian duo — billionaire president Vladimir Lisin, who is one of the richest men in Russia, and secretary general Alexander Ratner.
The move is in line with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) directive to push dozens of sports governing bodies to exclude Russian athletes and officials from international events.
The IOC said this action was needed to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants.
Responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, the IOC’s executive board recommended on Monday that international federations and organisations “not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials” in competition.
Belarus has been sanctioned for supporting Russia’s invasion.
The ISSF is being led by Lisin since November 2018 when he defeated Luciano Rossi of Italy by 148 votes to 144.
The 65-year-old Lisin, who according to Forbes, has an estimated net worth of USD 26.7 billion is the chairman of Russia’s largest steel manufacturer Novolipetsk Steel, besides owing rail freight operator First Cargo, port facilities operator UCL Port and shipping company VTBH.
ISSF secretary general Ratner is also the president of the European Shooting Confederation.
Russia has already been stripped of hosting rights for the 2022 European Shooting Championships, which were set to take place in Moscow in August and there is also uncertainty over the whether the country would get to host the next ISSF World Championship.
The world event is slated for 2023 August.
The ISSF is among several international sporting organisations, including football’s apex bodies FIFA and UEFA and the International Hockey Federation (FIH), to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in its events owing to the ongoing war in Ukraine.