Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to participate as neutrals at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced on Wednesday.
The IPC said they will compete under the Paralympic flag and the Paralympic anthem and will not be included in the medal table.
The Russian delegation must cover the RPC symbol on their uniforms in all official ceremonies and sporting competitions, the IPC said, while the Belarus delegation must cover the Belarus flags on their uniforms in all official ceremonies and sporting competitions.
“The IPC and wider Paralympic Movement is greatly concerned by the gross violation of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarusian governments in the days prior to the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games,” IPC president Andrew Parsons said.
“The IPC Governing Board is united in its condemnation of these actions and was in agreement that they cannot go unnoticed or unaddressed.
“In deciding what actions the IPC should take, it was fundamental that we worked within the framework of our new constitution to remain politically neutral and within the IPC Handbook, the rules and regulations that govern the Paralympic Movement,” he added.
“Such neutrality is firmly anchored in the genuine belief that sport holds the transformative power to overcome our shortcomings, and summon from within us the best of our humanity, especially in the darkest of moments.
“What we have decided upon is the harshest possible punishment we can hand down within our constitution and the current IPC rules.”
The IPC will host an “extraordinary” General Assembly in 2022 where members will be invited to vote on whether “to suspend or terminate the membership of the Russian Paralympic Committee and Belarus Paralympic Committee” and “whether ensuring compliance with the Olympic Truce should be a membership requirement.”
The IPC also said that it will not hold any events in Russia or Belarus “until further notice.”
The Beijing 2022 Paralympics get underway on Friday with the Opening Ceremony before official competition begins on Saturday.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has also been stripped of the Paralympic Honor bestowed on him, the IPC said.
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Although there were no Russian teams remaining in UEFA’s men’s or women’s Champions League and men’s Conference League, Spartak Moscow’s match against RB Leipzig in the Europa League has been called off, with the German club now advancing to the quarterfinals as a result.
On the international stage, FIFA’s jurisdiction over World Cup qualifiers means that, as it stands, Russia will not be able to play its World Cup playoff against Poland scheduled for March 24 — and could possibly miss out on football’s showpiece event as a result.
“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine,” the joint statement read. “Both Presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people.”
The FIA and Formula One
The approved measures included a ban on competitions held in both Russia and Belarus and the prohibition of both countries’ flags and anthems, “until further notice.”
Individual drivers from either Russia or Belarus can still compete, but only in “their neutral capacity and under the ‘FIA flag,’ subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality,” the statement added.
The decision paves the way for the participation of Formula One’s sole Russian driver, Nikita Mazepin, in this season’s World Championship. Both Mazepin and his Haas F1 Team will have to ensure they do not use the Russian or Belarusian “national symbols, colours, flags (uniforms, equipment and car)” in any form this season until further notice.
Haas declined to comment on the measures when contacted by CNN.
Other measures included in Tuesday’s FIA statement were the temporary exclusion of Russian or Belarusian FIA members from their responsibilities and roles as elected officers or commissions’ members and a ban on FIA grants to Russian or Belarusian members.
The statement concluded with a reiteration of F1’s cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, originally scheduled for September 25 this year. In a statement last week, F1 said that “it is impossible” that the race goes ahead “in the current circumstances” and the FIA approved, confirming the cancellation due to “Force Majeure.”
The World Athletics Council announced new sanctions on Tuesday banning all athletes from Russia and Belarus from competing in World Athletics Series events “with immediate effect.”
The council says it is also considering taking further measures, such as potentially suspending the Belarus Federation as it has done with the Russian Athletics Federation since 2015.
Even those Russian athletes that have been given permission to compete as neutral athletes will be excluded from World Athletics Series events “for the foreseeable future.”
“The world is horrified by what Russia has done, aided and abetted by Belarus,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a statement. “World leaders sought to avoid this invasion through diplomatic means but to no avail given Russia’s unswerving intention to invade Ukraine.
“The unprecedented sanctions that are being imposed on Russia and Belarus by countries and industries all over the world appear to be the only peaceful way to disrupt and disable Russia’s current intentions and restore peace.”
The upcoming events that will be affected are the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, scheduled to begin on July 15, and the World Indoor Championships, scheduled to begin on March 18.
“Anyone who knows me will understand that imposing sanctions on athletes because of the actions of their government goes against the grain,” Coe added. “I have railed against the practice of politicians targeting athletes and sport to make political points when other sectors continue about their business.
“This is different as governments, business and other international organisations have imposed sanctions and measures against Russia across all sectors. Sport has to step up and join these efforts to end this war and restore peace. We cannot and should not sit this one out.”
In addition, the ITF also canceled all ITF competitions from both Russia and Belarus.
The indefinite suspension means that neither Russia or Belarus can compete in the 2022 Davis Cup or 2022 Billie Jean King Cup. However, Russian and Belarusian players will still be allowed to compete as individuals on both the ATP and WTA Tours and at grand slams, but they will not be allowed to compete under the Russian or Belarusian flag “until further notice.”
Other sporting sanctions
- Archery: No athlete, team official or technical official from Russia or Belarus will be permitted to participate in any international archery event until further notice. Russian and Belarusian flags and anthems to be removed from all international tournaments. No future events will be awarded to either country.
- Badminton: All Russian athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus are suspended from competing in Badminton World Federation-sanctioned events.
- Baseball and softball: No Russian or Belarusian athletes or officials will be invited or allowed to participate in international competitions sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).
- Basketball: Russian teams and officials “will not be allowed to participate in FIBA Basketball and 3×3 Basketball competitions until further notice,” according to the International Basketball Federation.
- Biathlon: All Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials are suspended from participating in International Biathlon Union events.
- Canoeing: All athletes from Russia and Belarus will be suspended from competing at any International Canoe Federation (ICF) events.
- Chess: Russian and Belarusian flags and anthems will not be played at any International Chess Federation (FIDE) events. All existing sponsorship deals with Russian and Belarusian sanctioned and/or state-controlled companies will be terminated and no new deals will be made. Russian grandmasters Sergey Karjakin and Sergey Shipov referred to the Ethics and Disciplinary Commission.
- Curling: All Russian entries to be removed from the upcoming World Championships by the World Curling Federation (WCF).
- Cycling: Russian and Belarusian national teams or selections “are not authorised to take part in any events” sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI). Additionally, the UCI announced any team with Russian or Belarusian nationality will have their UCI Team status withdrawn and all events taking place in Russia or Belarus will be withdrawn — five in total. The Russian and Belarusian National Championships are withdrawn from the UCI calendar and all of Russia’s and Belarus’ “emblems, names, acronyms, flags and anthems” will be banned at UCI events. Russian and Belarusian athletes will though be allowed to participate in UCI events as neutrals as long as “they are registered with a UCI Team that is neither Russian nor Belarusian.”
- Gymnastics: Russian and Belarusian flags and anthems will not be used at events sanctioned by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). All FIG events set to be hosted in Russia and Belarus will be removed and neither country will be awarded new events.
- Hockey: Russia banned from FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup scheduled from April 1 to 12 in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
- Ice hockey: All of Russia’s and Belarus’ international and club teams at every age group are suspended from competing in all International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) competitions or events. Russia will also be stripped of its right to host the World Junior Championship in 2023, the IIHF said.
- Pentathlon: All Russian athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus are suspended from competing in international competitions sanctioned by World Pentathlon (UIPM).
- Rowing: All Russian athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus are suspended from competing in international competitions sanctioned by World Rowing.
- Rugby: Russia’s and Belarus’ national teams are suspended from “all international rugby and cross-border club rugby activities until further notice” by World Rugby. The Rugby Union of Russia’s World Rugby membership has also been suspended.
- Sailing: All Russian athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus are suspended from competing in international competitions sanctioned by World Sailing. Where not possible due to “short time frames,” Russian and Belarusian athletes will participate “neutrally, without national symbols, colours, flags or anthems.”
- Skating: Russian and Belarusian skaters suspended from participating in all international ice skating competitions by the International Skating Union (ISU).
- Skiing: All remaining FIS World Cup events scheduled to be held in Russia this season are to be canceled and all Russian and Belarusian skiers are suspended from competing in all FIS competitions.
- Surfing: Athletes and officials from Russia are suspended from participating in International Surfing Association (ISA) events.
- Swimming: Russian President Vladimir Putin has the FINA Order award withdrawn by the International Swimming Federation (FINA).
- Triathlon: World Triathlon stated that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials will not be allowed to participate “in all international competitions or official events,” to be reviewed on a monthly basis based on “how the situation evolves.”
- Volleyball: Russia to be stripped of hosting rights for this year’s men’s Volleyball World Championship by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and all Russian and Belarusian national teams, clubs and officials, as well as beach and snow volleyball athletes, will be suspended from all events until further notice.
CNN’s Aleks Klosok contributed to this report.