Paralympics: Russia suspended from Winter Games but some athletes exempted, says IPC

The Russian paralympic team will be banned from the Pyeongchang Games, though individual para-athletes will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.
The Russian paralympic team will be banned from the Pyeongchang Games, though individual para-athletes will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.PHOTO: REUTERS

BONN (AFP, REUTERS) - Russia's team will be suspended from the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang from March 9 to 18, but individual athletes will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said on Monday.

The IPC said in a statement that "it is maintaining the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC)".

"However, in recognition of the progress made by the RPC in improving its anti-doping activities, it will allow eligible Russian para-athletes who meet strict conditions to compete in five sports under the name Neutral Paralympic Athlete (NPA)," it said.

Russia did not compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics after the country's Paralympic committee was suspended over allegations of a state-sponsored doping. Dozens of Russians were banned from competing at the Rio Olympics for the same reason.

As for the Winter Olympics in South Korea from Feb 9 to 25, 169 Russians have been given approval to take part under a neutral flag, but many high-profile athletes are still banned.