(ATR) The 2021 edition of SportAccord heads to Russia, just as new sanctions may hit Russian sport.
Organizers of the annual convention for international sports federations announced this weekend that Ekaterinburg will host the 2021 event. Beijing is the site of the 2020 meeting.
Ekaterinburg is in central Russia, 1800km east of Moscow.
Located 1800km east of Moscow, Ekaterinburg is Russia’s fourth largest city. It will be the third time for Russia to host SportAccord. St. Petersburg was first in 2013, Sochi hosted the 2015 event.
The 2021 SportAccord is scheduled for May 23 to 28. The IEC Ekaterinburg-Expo convention center is the venue.
“The beautiful city of Ekaterinburg will be an ideal host for the 19th edition of SportAccord,” says a statement from Raffaele Chiulli, president SportAccord and stakeholder Global Association of International Sports Federations.
“This will allow the world of sport to come together for the third SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit in the sport loving country of Russia, facilitating unity, friendship and building joint bridges for athletes and the future development of sport,” says Chiulli.
But the announcement of Ekaterinburg for SportAccord comes as the World Anti-Doping Agency is about to consider its harshest sanctions against Russian sport. The WADA Executive Committee will meet Dec, 9 in Paris to decide on a possible four-year banishment of Russia from the Olympic sport scene over flagrant manipulation and falsification of drug testing results. That data was submitted to WADA earlier this year as the last step needed to be taken by Russia for the unconditional return of Russian athletes to major international competition after the scandal that erupted from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Along with a ban on the Russian flag and Russian teams at major sports events globally, the proposed WADA penalties would bar Russia from hosting major international sport competitions
Sochi hosted the 2015 edition of SportAccord. (ATR)
staged by signatories of the WADA code.
As it is not a sports competition, SportAccord would not be affected by the possible sanctions, says outgoing WADA chair Craig Reedie in an email to Around the Rings
. Reedie steps down Dec. 31 with Witold Banka taking over Jan. 1.
So far, there’s been no official pushback over the SportAccord selection.
SportAccord media chief John Hewitt tells Around the Rings
that the choice of Ekaterinburg was based on where best to bring the event.
raison-d’être is to be a place where various stakeholders can come together and engage in honest, constructive dialogue to help facilitate unity, inclusion while building joint bridges for the future development of sport,” Hewitt tells Around the Rings.
Andrew Ryan, executive director of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, one of the stakeholders in SportAccord, tells ATR
it's best to wait to see what WADA decides Dec. 9 before making any judgments about Ekaterinburg.
According to WADA, the recommended penalties for Russia include bans for Russian government officials at the Olympics and other major events.
Ekaterinburg, which hosted the 2019 AIBA boxing world champs is supposed to host the FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship in 2022 and the 2023 Summer Universiade.
The WADA sanctions call for those events to be moved unless contractual obligations prevent a change. Both were scheduled long ago.
In other SportAccord developments, next week brings the debut of the first regional SportAccord in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. SportAccord Pan America takes place from December 10 to 12. Registration is still open. For information go to www.sportaccord.sport.
Reported by Ed Hula.
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