Beijing 2022: Russia and Belarusia to participate as neutrals

Beijing 2022: Russia and Belarusia to participate as neutrals
# 02 March 2022 15:35 (UTC +04:00)

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has ruled that Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, but only as neutral athletes, following the invasion of Ukraine.

They will compete under the Paralympic flag and will not be included in the medals table.

Following the Games, the IPC is set to host an extraordinary General Assembly to vote on whether to make compliance with the Olympic Truce a membership requirement and whether to suspend or terminate the memberships of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) and Belarus Paralympic Committee.

The IPC will also not hold any events in the two countries until further notice.

Both delegations have been instructed that they must cover all national symbols and flags on their uniforms during all official ceremonies and sporting competitions.

Al technical officials from Russia and Belarus will also be listed as neutrals under the Paralympic flag, as will coaches from countries involved with other teams.

"In deciding what actions the IPC should take, it was fundamental that we worked within the framework of our new constitution to remain politically neutral and within the IPC Handbook, the rules and regulations that govern the Paralympic Movement," said IPC President Andrew Parsons, reports.

"Such neutrality is firmly anchored in the genuine belief that sport holds the transformative power to overcome our shortcomings, and summon from within us the best of our humanity, especially in the darkest of moments.

“What we have decided upon is the harshest possible punishment we can hand down within our constitution and the current IPC rules.

"Post-Beijing 2022, we will also take measures with our 206 member organisations to determine whether any breaches of the Olympic Truce for future Paralympic Games could lead to the possible suspension or termination of an NPC."