It was on Tuesday that the International Olympic Committee, IOC, went out to the international sports federations with a plea for participants from the two countries to be able to play international competitions.

In May at the earliest, the players of the suspended countries will be able to participate in the table tennis tournaments. However, they will not be able to participate in the World Cup in Durban, South Africa in May, as qualifying for that competition has passed.

Ukraine has vehemently opposed Russian participation in international competitions.

Ping-pong diplomacy big politics in the 1970s

"With member countries and board members from countries where wars and conflicts are also ongoing, there have been many discussions during the year, but we have in full agreement followed the IOC's guidelines. In table tennis, we also have a history of "Ping Pong Diplomacy" last practiced at the World Championships in Halmstad in 2018 when Korea formed a common team", writes Sörling, referring to the exchange between Chinese and American table tennis players in the early 1970s, which led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries.

Due to the situation that has arisen, the Swedish Table Tennis Association will have an extraordinary meeting at the beginning of next week.

"It feels urgent to discuss the issue as quickly as possible, where I do not want to pre-empt the meeting and say 'no comments' in terms of my own views," says Swedish federation manager Thomas Buza.

ARCHIVE: Strong reactions against the IOC after the Olympics announcement (1/2)

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Strong reactions against the IOC after the Olympics announcement