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World Curling Federation extends competition ban on Russia, Belarus

Curling rock Curling rock - The Canadian Press

PERTH, United Kingdom — The World Curling Federation has extended a ban on Russia and Belarus from its events through to the end of the 2022-23 season.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, and Belarus supported it, the WCF booted both countries from all events, including the world championships, and made the ban effective until the end of 2022.

"This has now been extended following concerns that their involvement would damage the integrity of the events due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine," the WCF said Monday in a statement.

Ottawa is the host city of the 2023 men's world curling championship April 1-9.

The world wheelchair team and mixed doubles championships are March 4-12 in Richmond, B.C.

Russia was a silver medallist at the 2021 women's world curling championship and a bronze medallist in 2018.

Under a WCF rule, the board can remove a team or member association from any WCF event "if in the sole opinion of the board, their presence at the event would damage the event or put the safety of the participants or the good order of the event at risk."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2022.