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Thu, 12/15/2022 - 17:32
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Russian, Belarusian boxers reinstated in WBA rankings

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. The World Boxing Association (WBA) has reinstated athletes from Russia and Belarus in the organization’s Rankings List, the WBA’s official website announced in a statement on Wednesday. "The World Boxing Association (WBA), through its Championships Committee and Ratings Committee, issued a statement in which it decided to reinstate Russian and Belarusian boxers to their place in the rankings," the statement reads. "The athletes from this country are not soldiers or part of the government, so they have nothing to do with the war against Ukraine or any ongoing conflict," according to the WBA. "However, it was determined that any fighter who speaks out in favor of the war or is involved in it will be removed immediately," the statement continued. "For the sake of the sport and the careers of the fighters, they will be able to return to the rankings and fight for WBA titles," the statement added. The WBA announced earlier in the year that it would exclude Russian boxers from all ratings lists and also bar them from title bouts. Russia’s WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol turned out to be an exception. In line with the WBA’s regulations, the Russian fighter appeared before a bout in early November without the national flag of Russia, while the country’s national anthem was not played as well. On Tuesday, Bivol was awarded the Boxer of the Year prize at the WBA Congress in Orlando, held between December 11 and 14. Russia’s sports ban from world tournaments On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments citing Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine as the grounds for the move. Following the IOC’s recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments. Developments in Ukraine The situation along the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military back then, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties. On February 21, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as of the beginning of 2014. Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had decided to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control. Photo by Sergei Savostyanov/TASS Read more