Sports Now

Sports cannot avoid conflict in Ukraine

The conflict in Ukraine, where Russian forces have annexed Crimea, cannot help but spill over to the sports world.

Last month, a Ukrainian skier withdrew from the Sochi Olympics and the Eastern European nation's team considered boycotting the Paralympics. Now there are developments involving two other competitions.

Despite reports to the contrary, FIBA Europe has issued a statement saying that Ukraine still intends to host the Eurobasket 2015 basketball championship.

The Ukrainian basketball federation has sent a letter to FIBA stating that it is "currently in the phase of reorganizing the Local Organising Committee to optimize its financial needs and use more effectively all resources to carry out the EuroBasket 2015 in Ukraine," officials said.

In another scheduled event, Russian and Ukrainian boxers will meet in the quarterfinals of the World Series of Boxing.

The International Boxing Assn. said the decision to continue with the bouts was made in accordance with "the main principle of the Olympic Movement, which is that sport should always be dealt with outside of politics. Both teams have fully agreed on this principle."

The home-and-away matches are scheduled for Moscow on March 30 and Donetsk, Ukraine, on April 4.

Located near the eastern border with Russia, Donetsk has recently endured violent clashes between pro- and anti-Russian crowds.

Last week, Russian and Ukrainian wrestlers faced off in the FILA Freestyle World Cup at the Forum.


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