Canada wants the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to revoke membership of both Russia and Belarus and stop them from participating in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games starting on March 4.
The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) has urged the IPC to call an assembly of the members immediately to revoke the membership of Russia and Belarus.
Both these nations, now facing sanctions and worldwide boycott, are among the confirmed participants of the Beijing Paralympic Games.
The Canadian Paralympic Committee has joined other sporting organizations around the world, including the International Paralympic Committee, in condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine. In a statement on Tuesday, the CPC said, “We recognize the importance of member nations within the Paralympic Movement stepping up and providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine.
“Our thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine, as well as with the communities of our athletes, coaches, and staff members who may have friends or family affected by these horrific events.
“With the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games starting in only a few days, this is of great concern to us. All elements of the Games setting should allow athletes to compete in an equitable environment, and the safety and well-being of our athletes is our utmost priority.
“We believe that Russian and Belarusian athletes should not be allowed to compete at international sporting events, including the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.
“The decision of country participation at the Paralympic Games is a matter for the IPC. We understand that due to legal constraints, the IPC is unable to expel Russia and Belarus from the Beijing Paralympic Games, and so we urge the IPC to impose the strongest sanctions that are available.
“We also ask that a special assembly of the IPC members be organized as soon as possible to consider revoking the memberships of Russia and Belarus from the International Paralympic Committee.
“It is our belief that sport has the unique power to bring people together, and this will be on display at the Games. The Canadian Paralympic Team will compete from March 4-13 recognizing and demonstrating the Paralympic values of friendship, respect, equality, and excellence,” the statement added.
* Prabhjot Singh is a veteran journalist with over three decades of experience covering a wide spectrum of subjects and stories. He has covered Punjab and Sikh affairs for more than three decades besides covering seven Olympics and several major sporting events and hosting TV shows. For more in-depth analysis please visit probingeye.com or follow him on Twitter.com/probingeye