Winter Paralympics

Russian athletes now barred from Winter Paralympics

Belarus has been a key staging area for the full-scale invasion Russia launched on Ukraine a week ago.

Last night's decision came a day after the International Paralympic Committee gave athletes from the two countries the green light to participate in the March 4-13 Games as neutrals, saying the "athletes were not the aggressors".

But that led to an outcry and threats from other countries' National Paralympic Committees to boycott the Games, IPC President Andrew Parsons told a news conference in Beijing.

Russian athletes allowed to compete at Winter Paralympics

The International Olympic Committee this week recommended that sports federations suspend teams and athletes from the two countries but added that they could compete as neutrals if time or legal constraints prevented their removal.

"They will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table," the IPC said in a statement.

"In deciding what action to take, the Board was guided by the IPC's core principles, which include a commitment to political neutrality and impartiality, and an unwavering belief in the transformative power of sport.