IPC decided to bar Russians, Belarusians from Paralympics under outside pressure - RPC president
The International Olympic Committee (IPC) was under a lot of pressure, which made it change its position on Russians and Belarusians' participation in the 2022 Winter Paralympics, Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) President Vladimir Lukin, who left his post for the period of the sanctions imposed on Russian sports in December 2020, said.
"The IPC was under a lot of pressure and gave up. We will learn later who pressured them, although I can guess," Lukin said on Rossiya-24 television.
The IPC earlier decided to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete in the Paralympics, but in a neutral status. It was also decided that their results would not be included in the medal table. On Thursday, the IPC changed its decision, which means that the Russian and Belarusian Paralympians need to leave Beijing. IPC President Andrew Parsons said one of the reasons for the decision was to ensure safety in the Olympic villages.
"It's nonsense that there would be any incidents in the Olympic village if our or Belarusian Paralympians stayed there. The people there have friendly relations, they have competed together for a long time and they know each other. I think there would have been no problems in the Olympic village," Lukin said.
The Winter Paralympics start on March 4 and end on March 13.