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Badminton-BWF suspends Russian federation over membership breaches

(Adds NBFR response)

Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has suspended the National Badminton Federation of Russia (NBFR) after it was found to be in breach of its conditions of membership, the sport's governing body said on Thursday.

The BWF banned Russian and Belarusian athletes in March last year after Russia invaded Ukraine. Belarus is being used as a key staging ground for Russia's war in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a «special operation».

The BWF said the NBFR included «within its jurisdiction territories that fall into the jurisdiction» of Ukraine.

«These are the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia,» it added.

The decision was made at the BWF council meeting on Nov. 11 and will be subject to confirmation by the membership at the annual general meeting next year in Chengdu, China.

The BWF said Russian athletes will be allowed to compete as «independent neutral athletes».

In a statement to Reuters, the NBFR said the BWF's decision «worsens the development of badminton in the world, creates severe stress points and in no way serves a fair resolution of the situation.»

The body added that it would «certainly prove the unfairness of this decision by all legal means». (Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Aadi Nair; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis)

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