Russian, Belarusian table tennis players to return as neutrals | More sports News resportsnews

governing physique of desk tennis mentioned it will comply with Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) steering by permitting Russian and Belarusian gamers to compete as neutrals.
The IOC launched a set of suggestions on Tuesday for worldwide sports activities federations that may permit athletes from each nations to return after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final 12 months, which Belarus facilitated.
Worldwide Desk Tennis Federation (I.T.T.)ITTF) mentioned on Thursday that gamers from Russia and Belarus might resume competing “beneath strict neutrality situations” from Might on the earliest, however couldn’t enter that month’s world championships after lacking qualifiers.
The governing physique, which can draw up its personal tips specifying the phrases of their participation, mentioned it was “deeply conscious of the potential dialogue”.
This led to an instance of ‘ping-pong diplomacy’, when American desk tennis gamers traveled to China in 1971 for a sequence of exhibition video games, which helped to chill relations between the 2 nations.
“Desk tennis has a protracted historical past of bringing individuals collectively, even when political ties have been tenuous,” it mentioned.
“It could possibly construct bridges, result in higher understanding between individuals, and open doorways to peacebuilding in ways in which exclusion and division can not.
“The ITTF reiterates its name for peace and categorically condemns the conflict in Ukraine. It stands in solidarity with the individuals of Ukraine and can proceed to assist the Ukrainian desk tennis neighborhood.”
The Worldwide Fencing Federation’s (FIE) determination earlier this month to reverse a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes has drawn flak with organizers in Germany and Denmark canceling their occasions.
Ukrainian fencers supported their federation’s determination to boycott the Russians and Belarusians’ competitions, whereas over 300 fencers signed a letter calling on the IOC and FIE to rethink their determination.

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