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Russian and Belarusian Athletes banned from the 2022 Paralympic Games!

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

In an amazing volte face, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has now banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in the Beijing Paralympics, due to their countries’ involvement in the war in Ukraine.

The Games begin on 4 March and end on 13 March 2022.

There are 71 Russian and 20 Belarussian athletes involved.

The ban comes 24 hours after the IPC had announced that these athletes could compete in the Games but as neutral athletes without colours, flags and other national symbols.

In announcing this ban, Andrew Parsons, the IPC President, stated:

In the last 12 hours, an overwhelming number of members have been in touch with us. They have told us that if we do not consider our decision, it is now likely to have grave consequences.”

And added:

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.”

Apart from that, the IPC new decision is in line with the International Olympic Committee’s recommendation on 28 February 2022 that Russian and Belarussian athletes should be banned from international sporting events.

Parsons has apologised to the athletes in the following terms:

….. we are very sorry that you are affected by decisions your governments took last week in breaching the Olympic truce. You are victims of your governments’ actions.”

It is a pity that sport needs to get involved in politics, but this decision of the IPC appears to be the right one in the particular circumstances.

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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