Athletes from Russia and Belarus are not allowed to participate in the Winter Paralympics.© BCCI
Russian and Belarusian athletes will not be allowed to participate in the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, the International Paralympic Committee announced on Thursday, citing the war in Ukraine. “In order to maintain the integrity of these Games and the safety of all participants, we have decided to refuse the participation of athletes from RPC and NPC Belarus,” the IPC said in a statement. The ban was a reversal of a decision the previous day to allow the athletes to compete in the Games, which begin Friday. The statement said multiple Paralympic Committees, teams and athletes had threatened not to participate if the Russian and Belarus athletes were allowed, “endangering the viability of the Games”.
“Ensuring the safety of athletes is of the utmost importance to us and the situation in the athletes’ villages is escalating and has now become untenable,” the statement said.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) this week had urged sports federations around the world to exclude athletes from the two countries.
International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons initially justified Thursday’s decision to admit the Russian and Belarus athletes, saying it was the “severest possible punishment we can take within the framework of our rules.” “.
Athletes from Ukraine arrived in Beijing on Wednesday.
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