In the latest development, the Russian Paralympic Committee has reportedly decided to not appeal against their ban over athletes competing at the Winter Paralympics after previous reports claimed that they were headed to court.
It is believed that Russia’s para-athletes will now leave Beijing on Sunday after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) barred them and their Belarusian counterparts. Meanwhile, the 2022 Winter Paralympics are scheduled to officially begin on Friday, March 4.
Paralympic Committee not to appeal against ban
The International Paralympic Committee reversed its decision on Thursday after initially having stated that athletes from Russia and Belarus could compete at the Winter Paralympics as neutrals. The IPC changed their decision following immense backlash from several governing bodies and countries.
Despite having previously labelled IPC’s decision as ‘absolutely politicized,’ Russia’s Paralympic Committee (RPC) has reportedly decided against contesting their ban. 71 competitors from Russia and 12 athletes from Belarus were scheduled to compete at the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing.
RPC labels IPC’s decision as ‘absolutely politicized’
The RPC reportedly claimed that they could not legally challenge IPC’s decision to ban their athletes from competing at the Winter Paralympics this year, but referred to their decision as being ‘absolutely politicized.’ A statement from their federation read,
“The decision is absolutely politicized. It contradicts all the postulates of the Paralympic movement and clearly tells everyone: double standards, unfortunately, have become the norm for modern sports.
The current situation also makes it clear to everyone: strong rivals, which the Russian team has always been and will always be, are not needed today.
Our team has been and remains committed to the principles of true Paralympism, the purpose of which is to enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sports excellence, inspire and delight the world.”
IPC ban Russia after nations threaten to boycott Winter Paralympics
IPC’s President Andrew Parsons released a detailed statement to explain their decision to ban Russia from the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing. Parsons explained how the mounting pressure from several members to boycott the event if any Russian and Belarusian athletes were permitted forced them to make such a difficult decision. His complete statement read,
“The IPC is a membership-based organisation, and we are receptive to the views of our member organisations. When our members elected the Board in December 2021 it was to maintain and uphold the principles, values, and rules of the Paralympic Movement. As Board members that is a responsibility and duty we take extremely seriously.
In taking our decision yesterday we were looking at the long-term health and survival of the Paralympic Movement. We are fiercely proud of the principles and values that have made the Movement what it is today. However, 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. Yesterday we said we would continue to listen, and that is what we are doing.
In the last 12 hours, an overwhelming number of members have been in touch with us and been very open, for which I am grateful. They have told us that if we do not reconsider our decision, it is now likely to have grave consequences for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. Multiple NPCs, some of which have been contacted by their governments, teams and athletes, are threatening not to compete.”