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Paralympics suspends Russia and Belarus with immediate effect

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) voted to suspend the National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) of Russia and Belarus with immediate effect, placing their para-athletes’ hopes of competing at the 2024 Paralympics in jeopardy.

Russia’s suspension was passed by 64 votes to 39, with 16 abstentions, at the IPC’s General Assembly in Berlin on Wednesday. The suspension of Belarus’ NPC passed 54-45, with 18 abstentions. Both countries were suspended for their “inability to comply with their membership obligations under the IPC Constitution”.

Due to their suspension, NPC Russia and NPC Belarus lose all rights and privileges of IPC membership, in accordance with the IPC Constitution. Both NPC Russia and NPC Belarus now have the right to appeal the decision.

The Russian Paralympic Committee called the IPC decision unfounded, believing that the decision to suspend all membership rights of the RPC is illegal, groundless and violates the entire IPC Regulations.

Qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games are due to take place throughout 2023 and 2024.

The Russian team was also banned from the Rio Paralympics in 2016 over doping.

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