Mar 2, 2022 - Sports

Russia and Belarus to compete under neutral flag at 2022 Paralympics

People posing near a Beijing 2022 sign in Beijing in January.
People posing near a 2022 Games sign in Beijing in January. Photo: Ju Huanzong/Xinhua via Getty Images

The International Paralympic Committee announced Wednesday that athletes from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete at the upcoming 2022 Beijing Paralympic Games but not as representatives of their countries.

Why it matters: IPC's decision adds to the growing list of teams, athletes and international sports organizations, including FIFA and Formula 1, that have announced boycotts or other restrictions against Russia's government over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

  • Russian and Belarusian athletes will compete under the neutral Paralympic flag and will also not be included in the medals table, the IPC said.

What they're saying: "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," Andrew Parsons, IPC president, said in a statement.

  • "The IPC Governing Board is united in its condemnation of these actions and was in agreement that they cannot go unnoticed or unaddressed," he added.

The big picture: The IPC's decision comes after the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee called for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be banned from the Games set to start Friday.

  • China, host of the games, has not openly condemned Russia's invasion but has urged for a diplomatic end to the conflict.

Go deeper: The latest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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