BARCELONA, Spain -- Russian basketball clubs were suspended Thursday from the next season of the EuroLeague.
EuroLeague organizers cited "air travel restrictions and prohibitions or other limitations to issuing visas to Russian residents" during the country's war with Ukraine.
The 18-team league had three Russian entrants last season: CSKA Moscow on a long-term license and one-year entries for UNICS Kazan and Zenit St. Petersburg. Their results were annulled after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
The EuroLeague suspension aligns with many other sports bodies that have removed Russian teams and athletes from their competitions. Several appeal cases are pending at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The International Olympic Committee has said Russian teams and athletes are being protected from hostility, not punished for their nationality.
"Executive Board members also considered that protecting the integrity and regularity of the competition and the safety of all stakeholders is the ultimate priority," the EuroLeague said, "and should not be put at risk."