Athletes from Russia and Belarus allowed to compete at Paralympics
Mar 2, 2022: According to a report by Al Jazeera, Russia’s and Belarus’s Paralympic athletes have been allowed to participate in the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games as neutrals, despite mounting pressure to impose sanctions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the decision on Wednesday, saying athletes from both countries would compete under the Paralympic flag and would not join the medal table.
Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that sports federations and organizers not invite or allow Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials to participate in international competitions. If time or legal impediments do not permit such action, the IOC urges sports organizations to accept only Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutral.
UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who is responsible for sport, slammed the IPC’s decision saying to be “extremely disappointed”.
The Canadian Paralympic Committee said to be in support of the sanctions imposed upon Russia and Belarus, but it would have “liked the two countries expelled immediately”. The CPC added that it was waiting for the special assembly to review IPC’s membership status.
The U.S Olympic & Paralympic Committee said to be “disappointed” as the IPC’s decision “excuses Russia’s disregard for not only the Olympic truce, but also for the victims of a senseless war,” it said in a statement.
The IPC added that it will not hold any events in Russia or Belarus until further notice.
The IPC’s move came as FIFA and UEFA, respectively the world and the European football governing bodies, have banned athletes from Russia and Belarus, while also stripping them of this season’s Champions League final.
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