Winter Paralympics organisers will decide today whether to ban Russian athletes just 48 hours before the Games are set to begin in Beijing.
All Russian competitors have already arrived in China but the International Paralympic Committee is under pressure to stop them taking part in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The International Olympic Committee on Monday recommended that all Russian and Belarusian athletes and teams be banned from international competition.
But it added that, when short notice or legal issues made that impossible, they may be allowed to take part if doing so under a neutral flag and without an anthem.
“Any decision we take is open to legal challenge from different sides,” said International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons.
“This is what we need to be very careful about because it could be from Russia or from other nations. We need to make a decision based on our constitution and the values we stand for.”
Russian athletes were already set to compete under a neutral flag in Beijing, in line with ongoing sanctions for the country’s widespread doping offences.
Football governing bodies Fifa and Uefa have banned Russia from all international competitions, including this year’s men’s World Cup and women’s European Championship.
Formula 1 will let Russian and Belarusian drivers and staff take part this season as neutrals, motorsport chiefs the FIA said on Tuesday.
“We stand in solidarity with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine and the wider FIA family in the country,” said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“The measures taken today recognise the authority of the FAU in Ukraine and are also aligned with the recommendations recently made by the International Olympic Committee.”