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Russia will not compete in Winter Olympics

The Russian Paralympic team
The Russian Paralympic team Image credit: npr.org

Russia will no longer be permitted to participate in the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games which begins later this week despite the invasion of Ukraine.

The announcement follows an emergency meeting held by the International Paralympic Committee on Wednesday morning confirming the team can compete in the games under the title of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) as neutral athletes and their results will not be counted in the medal table.

Earlier this week the International Olympic Committee called for a ban on Russian athletes and officials to take part in sporting events, but when it is “not possible on short notice for organisational or legal reasons” for last minute changes athletes can participate as neutral contenders.

A similar guideline was put in place for athletes from Belarus.

In a statement, the IPC said: “The RPC and NPC Belarus will participate as neutrals at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. They will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table.

“IPC will host an extraordinary General Assembly in 2022 to vote on whether to make compliance with the Olympic Truce a membership requirement and whether to suspend or terminate the membership of the Russian Paralympic Committee and Belarus Paralympic Committee. IPC will not hold any events in Russia or Belarus until further notice.”

Andrew Parsons, president of the IPC, said the board are “greatly concerned” by the invasion of Ukraine and were “in agreement that they cannot go unnoticed or unaddressed”, he went  on to stress the eIPC is politically neutral.

But on Thursday morning the IPC backtracked on your their decision after mounting pressure from several countries saying Russia and  Belarus.would no longer be permitted to take part in the games.

The Beijing Winter Paralympics run between 4 March 4 and 13 March 2022.