Russia goalie Yaroslav Askarov (1) makes the save on Finland's Santeri Hatakka (28) during first period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship bronze medal game action in Edmonton on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

IIHF suspends Russia, Belarus from competition

The International Ice Hockey Federation has suspended all national teams from Russia and Belarus and withdrawn Russia’s hosting rights for the 2023 world junior hockey championship in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision came Monday following a meeting of the IIHF’s council.

The IIHF said Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs would be suspended until further notice.

The organization left open the possibility of further sanctions. Russia is scheduled to host the world men’s championship in May 2023.

The IIHF’s announcement comes on the same day that FIFA and the World Curling Federation also banned Russia and Belarus from competing.

The suspensions remove perennial contender Russia from the rescheduled men’s world junior championship in Alberta this summer.

The junior tournament in Edmonton and Red Deer was called off Dec. 30 after four days because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

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