Medal wins by Russian, Belarusian paralympic athletes won't be recorded on table

LONDON: Russian and Belarusian athletes who finish on the podium in Paralympics events in Paris this year will not have their medal wins recorded on the Games medals table, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said today.

Russian and Belarusian athletes will compete as Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) in uniforms not featuring any national colours after the IPC voted against maintaining a full ban of the countries, imposed after Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

"Medal wins will not be recorded on the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games medals table and should a neutral athlete win a gold medal, the Paralympic anthem will be played," the IPC's Governing Board said in a statement.

"The national flags of Russia and Belarus, as well as other national symbols including those which relate to the military are strictly prohibited in the vicinity of any venue associated with the Paralympic Games.

"The national anthems of Russia and Belarus will not be played."

Neutral athletes will not march in the opening ceremony and will have no flagbearer at the closing ceremony.

The athletes will also be independently vetted to ensure they are not contracted to the military and have not supported the Ukraine war, which Russia calls a special military operation.

Belarus has been a staging ground for Russian troops and weapons during the invasion. --Reuters

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