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Luge officials vote to extend suspension of Russian athletes, federation

The banning of Russian sliders, coaches and others from International Luge Federation events as a response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine will continue indefinitely, the sport's governing body said Friday.

Representatives from 27 national federations, gathered in Lake Placid, New York, for the federation's annual congress, voted to extend the ban “in an effort to ensure a safe (and) peaceful” sport with integrity, the FIL announced Friday. Similar measures exist in countless other sports and have been in effect since the war began more than two years ago.

The FIL did not reveal the vote total but said extending the suspension of the Russian Luge Federation passed “by a large majority.” A similar extension of the suspension last year passed with 22 nations supporting, one against and five abstaining.

No Russian athletes have competed on luge's World Cup circuit in the past two years, and the track that played host to the 2014 Sochi Olympics is not scheduled to be used for any FIL events.

“The presence of Russian athletes, coaches, trainers, and other officials of the Russian Luge Federation during FIL-sanctioned sporting competitions poses a high risk,” the luge federation said Friday. “This risk affects the safety, peace and integrity of these competitions and their participants, including those of the Russian federation itself.”

The FIL said the suspension will remain “in effect as long as the hostilities in Ukraine continue.” Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press