Russian and Belarusian athletes are set to compete at next year's Paralympic Games after surviving a vote to completely ban their countries from the event.
Athletes from the two countries competed as neutrals at the 2020 Games but were fully banned from the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing following the Russian invasion of Ukraine that year.
International Paralympic Committee member nations voted against a full suspension of the Russian committee at the organisation’s General Assembly in Bahrain, but a motion to partially suspend was passed on Friday afternoon.
The decision means Russian athletes will be able to compete in Paris next summer, provided they do not wear kit or fly the flag of Russia.
The partial suspension will mean Russia will be barred from team events, and entry in any Paralympic discipline will be subject to approval from the relevant international sports federation.
IPC member nations voted 74-65 against a full suspension for Russia, with 13 abstentions.
Belarusian athletes can also compete as neutrals after IPC members voted for a partial suspension of their country’s Paralympic committee. The vote was 79-59 in favour of a partial suspension, with nine abstentions.
Both countries can appeal against the suspensions
The IPC decision comes in the same week that UEFA’s executive committee passed a motion supporting the return of Russian teams to Under-17 boys’ and girls’ competitions.
The Football Association of Ireland is among a number of national governing bodies who say they will refuse to allow their teams to play against Russia at this or any other level.
The International Olympic Committee could make a decision on Russian participation in next summer’s Olympic Games at its session in Mumbai next month.
The IOC has issued a set of recommendations to international sports federations setting out conditions under which Russian athletes may be able to compete in qualifying events.
IOC president Thomas Bach has been adamant that athletes should not be discriminated against simply on the basis of the passport they hold.