Russia and Belarus athletes unable to compete at Paralympic Games

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By Carina Murphy

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Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been banned from competing in the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games.

As reported by BBC News, the International Paralympic Committee has faced heavy criticism over their initial decision not to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in the games, which will begin on Saturday in Beijing.

In a statement released on Thursday, IPC president Andrew Parsons announced that they had reversed their policy and that athletes from these two countries will no longer be able to compete as 'neutrals'.

Parsons expressed sympathy for the athletes, describing them as "victims of your government's actions" per BBC News.

"We are very firm believers that sport and politics should not mix," Parsons said. "However, by no fault of its own the war has now come to these Games and behind the scenes many governments are having an influence on our cherished event."

"Ensuring the safety and security of athletes is of paramount importance to us and the situation in the athlete villages is escalating and has now become untenable," he added.

Parsons went on to apologize to the 72 Russian competitors and 12 Belarusian competitors who were set to compete, saying: "To the Para-athletes from the impacted countries, we are very sorry that you are affected by the decisions your governments took last week in breaching the Olympic Truce."

"I hope and pray that we can get back to a situation when the talk and focus is fully on the power of sport to transform the lives of persons with disabilities, and the best of humanity," he concluded.

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Credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy

Governing bodies and political figures called out the IPC for not taking decisive action after Russia launched an aggressive military invasion of Ukraine last week.

Parsons said that there had been pressure from an "overwhelming number of members" to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing.

This included the athletes of Ukraine, who released a joint statement with the Global Athlete group criticizing the committee. One Ukrainian Olympian - skeleton racer Vladyslav Heraskevych - hit out, saying: "They put Russia above the interest of other countries" and added that "anything less than a full ban is unacceptable."

If you would like to know how you can support the Ukrainian people at this time, click HERE to find a list of organizations and groups dedicated to helping those affected by this crisis.

Featured Image Credit: Valerio Rosati / Alamy

Russia and Belarus athletes unable to compete at Paralympic Games

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been banned from competing in the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games.

As reported by BBC News, the International Paralympic Committee has faced heavy criticism over their initial decision not to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in the games, which will begin on Saturday in Beijing.

In a statement released on Thursday, IPC president Andrew Parsons announced that they had reversed their policy and that athletes from these two countries will no longer be able to compete as 'neutrals'.

Parsons expressed sympathy for the athletes, describing them as "victims of your government's actions" per BBC News.

"We are very firm believers that sport and politics should not mix," Parsons said. "However, by no fault of its own the war has now come to these Games and behind the scenes many governments are having an influence on our cherished event."

"Ensuring the safety and security of athletes is of paramount importance to us and the situation in the athlete villages is escalating and has now become untenable," he added.

Parsons went on to apologize to the 72 Russian competitors and 12 Belarusian competitors who were set to compete, saying: "To the Para-athletes from the impacted countries, we are very sorry that you are affected by the decisions your governments took last week in breaching the Olympic Truce."

"I hope and pray that we can get back to a situation when the talk and focus is fully on the power of sport to transform the lives of persons with disabilities, and the best of humanity," he concluded.

wp-image-1263146747 size-full
Credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy

Governing bodies and political figures called out the IPC for not taking decisive action after Russia launched an aggressive military invasion of Ukraine last week.

Parsons said that there had been pressure from an "overwhelming number of members" to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing.

This included the athletes of Ukraine, who released a joint statement with the Global Athlete group criticizing the committee. One Ukrainian Olympian - skeleton racer Vladyslav Heraskevych - hit out, saying: "They put Russia above the interest of other countries" and added that "anything less than a full ban is unacceptable."

If you would like to know how you can support the Ukrainian people at this time, click HERE to find a list of organizations and groups dedicated to helping those affected by this crisis.

Featured Image Credit: Valerio Rosati / Alamy