Updated:Mar 2, 2022
The International Paralympic Committee(IPC) has given the green signal for Russia and Ukraine’s Paralympians to compete as neutrals in this year’s Winter Games in Beijing and confirms that their name will not feature on the medal table.
“The IPC and wider Paralympic Movement is greatly concerned by the gross violation of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarussian governments in the days prior to the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games,” “The IPC Governing Board is united in its condemnation of these actions and was in agreement that they cannot go unnoticed or unaddressed. “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.’ “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.”Andrew Parsons-BBC Sport
The neutral country will consist of 82 athletes, with 71 from Russia and 12 from Belarus.
The UK Secretary of State, Nadine Dorries was “extremely disappointed with the decision made by the IPC.
“I call on them to urgently reconsider,” “They must join the rest of the world in condemning this barbaric invasion by banning Russian and Belarussian athletes from competing. “We will consider the full range of options in protest of this decision, in consultation with UK Sport and the British Paralympic Association. I will also be meeting with my international counterparts this week to discuss how we can respond collectively.Nadine Dorris-BBC Sport
Her statement was backed up by the British Paralympic Association.
“We, like many participating Paralympic nations, already stated that given the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine we cannot see how the participation of Russia or Belarus in the Games is compatible with the objectives of the Paralympic movement.”BrItish Paralympic Association-ParalympicsGB
They also praised the Russian athletes, saying Paralympic athletes are not the aggressors’.
During the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, Russia competed under a neutral flag as a consequence of state-sponsored doping.
Both countries will therefore not be competing under their own flag or feature on the medal table in Beijing, the IPC also declared that it will not be hosting events in the two countries “until further notice”.
Moreover, the IPC will also host a vote later this year, for deciding whether or not the Olympic Truce will be considered a membership requirement.
Only then will it be more prudent to make a call on whether or not the RPC and BPC will be terminated from future Games.
During Friday’s Opening Ceremony, ‘a message of peace’ will be conducted, in order to unite Russia to the world again.
“The eyes of the world will be watching the Paralympic Winter Games in the coming days,” “It is vital we show to world leaders through our sport that we can unite as human beings and that our true power is found when promoting peace, understanding and inclusion. “This is at the core of what the Paralympic Movement does and what it stands for. We should not lose sight of this now, no matter what the circumstances.”Andrew Parsons-BBC Sport
With that being said, have the IPC done the correct thing by allowing Ukraine and Russia to compete in these games?
Well, if we look at it from a national perspective, no nation wants to go into a global event without anything that represents where they are from, but on the other hand, you can’t forget the kind of mark Putin’s actions have left not just on Ukraine but the rest of the world, so the IPC has made a wise decision, not just for Russia, but the other participating nations as well.
Will this punishment by the IPC change the fate of Paralympic sport in Russia?
Find out on World in Sport