Russian athletes are set to compete at next year’s Paralympic Games after surviving a vote to completely ban the country from the event.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) held a vote at its general assembly in Bahrain on Friday on whether to fully suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee for breaches of its membership obligations, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, 74 IPC member nations voted against the full suspension, with 65 in favour and 13 abstaining.
A further vote will be held later on Friday to decide whether the RPC should be partially suspended.
It’s understood that a partial suspension would mean Russian athletes being able to compete, but under neutrality conditions.
These would include being unable to compete under the Russian flag or in Russian kit, or in any team sports.
Similar votes were also planned concerning Russia ally Belarus.
In March 2022, athletes from Russia and Belarus arrived at the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, about a week after Russian troops invaded Ukraine.
They were excluded a day before the opening ceremony.
The IPC sought to include them as neutral athletes but reversed course after other countries said they would boycott.
At the time, IPC president Andrew Parsons cited an “untenable” security situation in the athletes village.
The International Olympic Committee could make a decision on Russian participation in next summer’s Olympic Games at its session in Mumbai next month.
The IOC has issued a set of recommendations to international sports federations setting out conditions under which Russian athletes may be able to compete in qualifying events.
Thomas Bach, IOC president, has been adamant that athletes should not be discriminated against simply on the basis of the passport they hold.
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