The Kremlin condemned the IPC's decision to ban Russian athletes from the Paralympics ©Getty Images

Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for the Russian President Vladimir Putin, has called the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decision to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus from the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games "a disgrace". 

It comes after the organisation performed a U-turn on allowing them to compete neutrally when pressure came from National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) who threatened a boycott of the Games.

This is due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia through its neighbouring borders as well as through its ally Belarus, that also shares a border with Ukraine.

Andrew Parsons, President of the IPC, said that the threat of withdrawal was clear, hence the change from the organisation.

"They told us that if we do not reconsider our decision, it is now likely to have grave consequences for the Winter Games," Parsons said in a media conference today in Beijing.

"Multiple NPCs, some of which have been contacted by their Governments, teams and athletes, are threatening not to compete."

Now athletes from the two countries will be unable to compete, with the Opening Ceremony set to take place tomorrow evening local time.

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said the nation would appeal the decision to CAS ©Getty Images
Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said the nation would appeal the decision to CAS ©Getty Images

"This situation is definitely monstrous," said Peskov, as reported by Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"This is of course a disgrace for the International Paralympic Committee as I cannot find other words of describing it.

"We certainly condemn the International Paralympic Committee for this decision."

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin informed TASS that the country was appealing the decision made by the IPC by taking the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"We are currently in work to establish our legal position to file lawsuits on the protection of our athletes' rights, against the discrimination of athletes based on their ethnicity and the use of sports as a tool of a political pressure," said Matytsin.

"Today's decision to bar our team is a blatant violation of athletes' rights and a manipulation of the Olympic Charter and human lives' values in pursuit of political goals."

The revised IPC decision was welcomed by the IPCs of Canada, Britain, Iceland and New Zealand.