Paralympic Games: Britain slams IPC for allowing Russian athletes to compete

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “I am extremely disappointed in the IPC – this is the wrong decision and 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.”

She added: “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 coun-terparts this week to discuss how we can respond collectively.”

Russian and Belarusian athletes have been given the green light to compete as neutrals at the Paralympic Games in Beijing despite the invasion of Ukraine.

The International Paralympic Committee met on Wednesday, with the Games officially opening on Friday, and has controversially stopped short of a blanket ban.

“The RPC (Russian Paralympic Committee) and NPC Belarus will participate as neutrals at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games,” an IPC statement read.

“They will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table.”

The IPC said it would hold an extraordinary general assembly this year to vote on whether to make compliance with the Olympic Truce a membership requirement, and whether to suspend or terminate the membership of the Russian Paralympic Committee and Belarus Paralympic Committee.

The decision not to completely bar Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing is likely to draw criticism and raises the possibility of athletes from other countries boycotting the Games or staging protests.

A group of Ukrainian athletes wrote an open letter to the International Olympic Committee and the IPC on Sunday calling for Russian and Belarusian competitors to be banned.

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