Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been banned from the Beijing Winter Paralympics after other nations, including Britain, threatened a boycott.
The move represents a swift U-turn from International Olympic Committee, which had on Wednesday said they could compete as neutrals when the Games begin on Friday.
It is the latest sporting sanction to hit Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
“The IPC is a membership-based organisation, and we are receptive to the views of our member organisations,” said president Andrew Parsons.
“In the last 12 hours an overwhelming number of members have been in touch with us and been very open, for which I am grateful.
“They have told us that if we do not reconsider our decision, it is now likely to have grave consequences for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
“Multiple National Paralympic Committees, some of which have been contacted by their governments, teams and athletes, are threatening not to compete.
“Ensuring the safety and security of athletes is of paramount importance to us and the situation in the athlete villages is escalating and has now become untenable.
“First and foremost, we have a duty as part of the Paralympic mission, enshrined in the constitution, to guarantee and supervise the organisation of successful Paralympic Games, to ensure that in sport practiced within the Paralympic Movement the spirit of fair play prevails, violence is banned, the health risk of the athletes is managed and fundamental ethical principles are upheld.”
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries who, with Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone has been lobbying for more sporting sanctions against Russia and Belarus, welcomed the U-turn.
“I am pleased that the IPC has now come to the right decision and answered our call to ban Russian and Belarus athletes in response to Putin’s barbaric, senseless invasion,” Dorries said.
“The welfare of all the other competing athletes is of utmost importance and we are pleased the IPC also recognise that.
“The whole country will be fully behind our ParalympicsGB team at the Games.
“I will discuss the international sporting response and further measures we can take to isolate the Russian regime with my international counterparts later today.”