Basketball: Fiba removes ban on Russian teams

MOSCOW (AFP) - Basketball's international ruling body Fiba has lifted a ban on Russia's national teams taking part in competitions, local media reported.

Fiba last month barred Russian national teams from all competitions over a bitter legal dispute between the current head of the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) and its former president.

Russia's deputy sports minister Pavel Kolobkov said that the international governing body had lifted the ban on teams competing but left a temporary suspension of Russia's federation in place.

"The country's teams have got the permission to play in all Fiba competitions. But the ban on the Russia's basketball federation officials remains in force," he told the R-Sport news agency.

The Fiba verdict gives the Russian men's squad the right to play at the European championship in September, where they will also fight for a place at next year's Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Fiba said in July that it was barring Russian teams and suspending RBF, as the internal legal feud was preventing the country's governing body from "keeping full control" over the sport.

In a bid to return the national teams to lift the suspension, Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko pledged to resolve the the situation inside the game.

"On Aug 25 we will hold the RBF conference and the elections of the new ruling body chief and the executive board," he said.

"We're set to work out the decision which will fit Fiba demands. After that we will ask Fiba to lift its sanctions on the country's basketball federation."