MINSK, 19 May (BelTA) - The claims of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to the Belarusian Paralympians do not stand up to any criticism, it is an utter absurdity, chief specialist for international relations of the Belarusian Paralympic Committee Yelena Gvai told the media on 19 May, BelTA has learned.
According to the IPC representatives, the Belarusian Paralympic Committee and the athletes are allegedly violating the laws and participating in the competitions in support of the military actions, referring to the tournaments in Khanty-Mansiysk and Sochi. Claims also included all sorts of speculation that the Paralympians were under pressure from the state and had not publicly expressed their views on the conflict in Ukraine. “Fortunately, the independent IPC Appeals Tribunal thoroughly studied all aspects of the case, our documents and arguments and did not accept such and other far-fetched arguments, making an absolutely objective decision in favor of Belarus. It was great and once again emphasized our rightness. However, it is bad that we have to prove the obvious things and our rightness through various instances, including the courts,” Yelena Gvai said.
According to Chairman of the Belarusian Paralympic Committee (BPC) Oleg Shepel, now there is a clear split in the sports movement due to political interference. Sports officials are forced to do what they are dictated by politicians who brazenly interfere in the sport. He also noted that Belarusians had been criticized from the participation in the tournaments in Sochi and Khanty-Mansiysk that allegedly promoted war. “This is complete nonsense. The motto of the competitions is simple: “We are together. Sport”. What war propaganda is there? As a former athlete, I explained to the foreign representatives, who were never athletes themselves, that athletes need not only to train, but also to compete in order to hone their skills. Earlier there were claims on the nationality, which have already been withdrawn. I tell everyone: I was born in Kiev, many of our athletes and officials have relatives from Ukraine who now live there. How can we advocate war? I have always stressed that sport is peace, it must unite people, and now they are trying to divide us,” the BPC head said.
He also said that he had recently communicated with his Russian colleagues, who were still ready to invite Belarusians to tournaments and conduct joint training camps to keep fit. “Plans for further cooperation have already been developed and Belarusian Paralympians continue to prepare for these events,” he added.