published : 2023-09-30

Russian Paralympians Barred from Using Flag at Paris Games

Russian athletes seeking to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games will need to compete as individuals under a neutral banner.

Russian Paralympian athlete proudly holding a neutral banner, taken with the Canon EOS R6.

Russian athletes competing at the 2024 Paralympics in Paris will not be allowed to use their nation's flag.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) made this decision on Friday, voting on the eligibility of Russian athletes and allowing individuals to compete under neutral banners.

Since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russia has been banned from the Olympic and Paralympic communities.

The specific parameters for athletes from Russian ally Belarus are also yet to be decided.

President of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons, addressing the media about the decision, taken with the Nikon D850.

However, the IPC voted not to fully ban Belorussian athletes and is still considering whether they can compete representing their country.

The Russian Olympic Committee has voiced support for athletes wishing to compete as neutral individuals and is not boycotting the Paris games.

Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov stated, 'Boycotting the Games leads to nowhere. We live together in a free state. Every person can, if they so wish, take the path.'

International bodies have struggled to accommodate Russian and Belorussian athletes' participation in the games since their ban was imposed.

Ukrainian and Russian athletes competing side by side in a friendly sporting event, promoting unity, taken with the Sony a7 III.

In anticipation of the Olympic and Paralympic games, the Ukrainian government has loosened restrictions on participating in sporting events with Russian athletes.

They have narrowed the focus of their ban on sports matches against Russian competitors.

Moving forward, Ukrainian athletes will be allowed to compete against Russian athletes not representing their home country.