Russia and Belarus are prohibited from 2022 Winter Paralympics

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been banned to attend the Paralympics on March 4. The decision was made by the International Paralympic Committee – IPC just a day before the opening time in China.

Russia and Belarus are prohibited from 2022 Winter Paralympics

The statement was issued by the IPC on March 3. 

During the press conference, IPC President Andrew Parsons revealed that he was worried about the long-term survival and development of the Paralympics, not banning Russian athletes initially.

“But in the past 12 hours, a large number of IPC members contacted me, said that they would not attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics, so we had to change our mind”. Parsons explained.

Russia and Belarus are prohibited from 2022 Winter Paralympics
Athletes from Russia and Belarus are banned from competing in the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics

The sanctions affect 83 athletes from the two countries. Parsons asserted that the situation in Beijing Olympic Village was so tense that it was forced IPC to impose sanctions on Russia.

“To protect the integrity of the Paralympic Games and the safety of all participants, we have decided to refuse the participation of the athletes from Russia and Belarus. We are sorry for them. But they are the victims of the decisions of their governments,” Parsons said.

Russia and Belarus are prohibited from 2022 Winter Paralympics
Russian Paralympics athletes in 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia

The Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin said he opposed the IPC’s decision, calling it a “manipulation of the Olympic rules”.

“We are working to complete the legal procedures to file a lawsuit, to protect the rights of our athletes, against discrimination based on ethnicity and the use of sports as a tool to political pressure,” Matytsin said. 

“The IPC’s decision to ban Russian athletes violates the rights of athletes, manipulates the Olympic charter and human values ​​to pursue political purposes.”

Russia and Belarus are prohibited from 2022 Winter Paralympics
Belarusian Paralympics athletes in 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan

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