World Abilitysport General Assembly votes for Russian, Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals
The World Abilitysport General Assembly has mandated its Trustees to suspend the Membership of the Russian Federation of Sports for Persons with Physical Impairments (RFSPPI) and the Belarus National Paralympic Committee for a period of two years.
At the General Assembly held in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, Members voted in favour of two separate motions to suspend the Membership of the RFSPPI with the exception that its athletes (and related support personnel) will be eligible to participate in an individual and neutral capacity (this means no teams) in wheelchair fencing, powerchair hockey and wheelchair dance sport.
In each case, participation will be subject to those athletes and support personnel meeting such conditions as determined by the World Abilitysport Board of Trustees.
World Abilitysport is the International Federation for wheelchair fencing and powerchair hockey. It will become the International Federation for wheelchair dance sport in 2024.
Also in Nakhon Ratchasima, Members voted for the same, but separate, motion as it applies to the Belarus National Paralympic Committee and athletes and related support personnel from Belarus.
Following the vote, and according to the World Abilitysport Articles of Association (Article 6.9), the World Abilitysport Board of Trustees will now write to the RFSPPI and Belarus National Paralympic Committee to notify them of the intention to suspend their Membership and the reasons for doing so.
Both the RFSPPI and Belarus National Paralympic Committee have at least 21 days from this notification to respond.
The World Abilitysport Board of Trustees will set a date to review the General Assembly decision and determine the Membership status and athlete participation for both organisations. Both the (RFSPPI) and Belarus National Paralympic Committee have the right to be represented at this meeting according to Article 6.9, and the Board of Trustees will consider these representations.
Once a final decision has been made, both Members will be notified.