Paralympic Games in Beijing: Russian and Belarusian athletes authorized to compete under a neutral banner

There will be many Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Paralympic Games from Friday until March 13 in Beijing. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has taken the decision not to prohibit their presence at the Winter Games. Athletes from both countries will participate under a “neutral” banner, “will compete under the Paralympic flag and will not appear on the medal table,” the IPC said in a statement released by the international organization on its website.

This announcement may come as a surprise as the sporting world has largely begun the break with Moscow in recent days. Fifa has excluded Russia from the 2022 World Cup. And many federations (athletics, skating, rugby, boxing, swimming) have announced exclusion measures targeting Russian athletes, and sometimes Belarusians. This Monday, the IOC had recommended banning them from sports competitions, a proposal supported by the American Olympic and Paralympic Committee or even the French one. If “for organizational or legal reasons”, it is not possible to prevent the arrival of Russian athletes, the IOC requested however that they could not be “authorized to participate under the name of Russia or Belarus “. The option chosen here.

The Ukrainian Paralympic Federation assured Tuesday via a tweet that its 29 athletes (including nine guides) would fly well for the Games. The team is supposed to arrive on Wednesday, from an unspecified country. Ukrainian airspace being closed and land transport very disrupted, their travel conditions promise to be very complicated. “Bringing the team to Beijing will be a huge challenge,” conceded Andrew Parsons, president of the CIP, last week.

More information to follow.

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