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No Entry: Belarusian Athletes Barred From Paris Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony

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No Entry: Belarusian Athletes Barred From Paris Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony

Athletes will be checked in Paris.

Athletes from Belarus and Russia will not be allowed to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Paris on August 28 (as well as the closing ceremony on September 8). The International Paralympic Committee announced this on Wednesday. Belarusian and Russian athletes are allowed to participate in the Paralympics exclusively in neutral status and in single sports. The rules for their participation in competitions have now been published. Awards won by athletes from Belarus and the Russian Federation will not be taken into account in the overall medal standings of the Paralympic Games. If a neutral athlete wins a gold medal, the Paralympic anthem will be played.

The display of official state symbols of Belarus and Russia is prohibited, as is the presence of the coat of arms or name of the country on the uniform. Athletes will compete under a white flag with black letters, which “indicate that they are neutral athletes.”

During the Paralympics, an “independent external body” will be created to evaluate athletes and support staff. Those of them who support Russia’s aggression against Ukraine or are related to security forces will not receive access.

The fact that Belarusians and Russians were allowed to participate in the Paralympics with certain restrictions became known in September 2023. Sanctions were imposed on Belarus and Russia in 2022 after the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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