By Michael Pavitt

FIBA have moved to quash reports that they allowed Crimean teams to join the Russian Championships ©AFP/Getty ImagesReports that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) have allowed Crimean basketball clubs to join the Russian league following the peninsula's annexation last year have been denied by the world governing body.

A Crimean based club, Musson Sevastopol, were included in the third tier of the Russian basketball league pyramid for the 2014-2015 season by the Russian Basketball Federation.

They now ply their trade in the Russian Higher League, despite objections from the Ukraine Basketball Federation, while the FIBA maintain they have not sanctioned such a move.

"FIBA is aware of the political turmoil affecting the regions of Crimea and Sevastopol and the possible consequence on basketball competitions in these regions," a spokesman told insidethegames today.

"We are in contact with both National Basketball Federations of Ukraine and Russia and encourage them to jointly reach a satisfactory solution to ensure that basketball is least affected by the political situation.

"FIBA can confirm that no decision has been taken at this stage but we will make sure to communicate any progress in this matter."

FIBA stripped Ukraine of hosting duties for the 2015 EuroBasket competition due to the political unrest ©AFP/Getty ImagesFIBA stripped Ukraine of hosting duties for the 2015 EuroBasket competition due to the political unrest ©AFP/Getty Images

It is not the first time that FIBA have had to act on the ongoing political situation, which began when Russia controversially annexed the Crimean region in March 2014, following civil and political unrest in the Ukraine.

Last June, FIBA Europe, the European branch of the world body, stripped Ukraine of hosting duties for the 2015 EuroBasket competition after ruling that the political situation and security issues meant that Ukraine were no longer feasible hosts.

The ongoing conflict in the region has also affected other sports, with UEFA ruling that Russian and Ukrainian football clubs are not permitted to meet in their continental club competitions until further notice.

They also banned Crimean clubs from joining Russian football leagues.

The International Tennis Federation also stripped the Ukraine of hosting its Davis Cup tie last August while the International Gymnastic Federation cancelled September's 2014 Stella Zakharova Cup artistic gymnastics event.

However, other sports have been less affected by the political circumstances, including boxing, as on Saturday (February 21) the Russian Boxing Team faced the Ukrainian Otamans in a World Series of Boxing group stage fixture in Volgograd.

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