Russia, Belarus Banned from Winter Paralympics

The two countries have been expelled from this year's games.

The two countries have been expelled from this year’s games.

Earlier this week, the International Paralympic Committee announced that it would permit athletes from Russia and Belarus to continue to compete in the Winter Paralympics, though on the condition that all national colors and iconography be removed from their uniforms and equipment. However, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues with the aid of Belarus, perceptions of the Russian and Belarussian athletes in the Athlete’s Village have plummeted to an all-time low, which could lead to potential incidents.

In an effort to prevent these incidents, as well as potential boycotts, the Committee has decided to reverse its previous decision and ban the Russian and Belarussian athletes from the games entirely.

“The war has now come to these Games and behind the scenes many governments are having an influence on our cherished event,” IPC President Andrew Parsons said this morning. “We were trying to protect the Games from war.”

“We don’t have reports of any specific incidents of aggression or anything like that,” Parsons said. “But it was a very, very volatile environment in the (Athletes) Village.

“It was a very rapid escalation which we did not think was going to happen. We did not think that entire delegations, or even teams within delegations, will withdraw, will boycott, will not participate.”

“To Para athletes from the impacted countries, we are very sorry that you are affected by the decisions your governments took last week in breaching the Olympic Truce,” Parsons said. “You are victims of your governments’ actions.”

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