Paralympics: Calls grow for Russia ban in sport, IPC to meet next week

Some 650 athletes from 49 national paralympic committees, including the Russian, will take part in next week's Beijing Paralympics. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Calls for a blanket ban of Russia in sport grew louder on Sunday (Feb 27) with Germany's elite athletes' group demanding tougher sanctions and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) set to discuss Russia ahead of next week's Beijing Paralympics.

Germany's Athleten Deutschland said a complete ban of all Russian sports bodies, athletes and officials as well as events in the country was the necessary response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"German representatives in national and international federations, along with like-minded officials from other countries, should urgently use their influence to bring about the swift and complete isolation of Russia and Belarus," it said in a statement.

It also said federations should also cut ties with any Russian donor and called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to soften the financial blow to them.

The IPC said it would be discussing Russia at a board meeting in Beijing on March 2, two days before the start of the March 4-13 Paralympics.

"Over the next 24 hours, the majority of the IPC Governing Board, including the IPC president, are travelling to Beijing for the Paralympic Winter Games," an IPC official told Reuters.

"Therefore, nothing will be decided by the IPC until a meeting can be convened between the board members."

Some 650 athletes from 49 national paralympic committees, including the Russian, will take part.

Scores of federations and teams have moved events from Russia or have refused to compete there or against Russian teams in the past four days.

The IOC urged international sports federations on Friday to either move or cancel events planned in Russia or Belarus.

Russian troops entered Ukraine through Belarus when the invasion began on Thursday.

Ukrainian forces were holding off Russian troops advancing on the capital Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said as the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two entered a fourth day.

Get live updates as the Ukraine crisis unfolds.

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