FIBA suspended Russia from competing in international tournaments – which would have included the Olympics and events necessary to qualify for the Olympics.
But Russia got that overturned.
Governing body FIBA has lifted the ban on Russia, allowing the country to compete in next month’s European championship and other international tournaments, Russian Basketball Federation (RFB) said on Sunday.
“Russian national teams will be able to take part in all FIBA’s tournaments, however sanctions in relation to members of the RFB will still remain in place,” the Russian Deputy Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told the R-Sport agency.
Russia, which bronzed in the 2012 Olympics, now has a chance to defend that medal.
But it won’t be a cakewalk. Russia still needs to qualify for the 2016 Rio Games. That can happen with a top-two finish at Eurobasket in September or through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
With a talent base that includes Timofey Mozgov, Alexey Shved and Sergey Karasev, Russia is one of the world’s better national teams. Good enough to medal in Rio? We’ll find out on the court.