Russian para athletes banned from winter Paralympics

Wed,2 March 2022

Russian and Belarusian athletes will be banned from the Beijing Winter Paralympics after the International Olympic Committee (IPC) bowed to international pressure and revoked its original decision to let those nations’ para athletes compete as ‘neutrals’.

Facing the threat of mass boycotts and condemnation from a groundswell of international governments, it was left with little choice in the matter.

In a statement this morning, IPC president, Andrew Parsons, said: “In taking our decision yesterday, we were looking at the long-term health and survival of the Paralympic movement. We are fiercely proud of the principles and values that have made the movement what it is today.

“However, what is clear is that the rapidly escalating situation has now put us in a unique and impossible position so close to the start of the Games. Yesterday we said we would continue to listen, and that is what we are doing.” Parsons said the situation in the athletes village had “become untenable”.

DR UK CEO Kamran Mallick said: “Disabled people are used to fighting for their rights, the rights of others and the common good. Threats of a universal boycott by Paralympians has forced the hand of the IOC. The world’s thoughts are rightly with Ukraine right now.”