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The International Paralympic Committee has ruled that athletes from Russia and Belarus will be eligible to compete at the Winter Games despite the country's invasion of Ukraine. The 2022 Beijing Paralympics are slated to begin on Friday (March 4).

On Wednesday, there was emergency meeting of the IPC's executive committee that took place and determined that 72 Russian athletes would be allowed to participate in the Winter Games as "neutral" competitors. The decision was criticized by the United Kingdom government and there could be a British boycott of the Games before they begin.

British culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, called for the IPC to "urgently reconsider" the decision, while the British prime minister's official spokesperson said that the governing body "should join the rest of the world in condemning this barbaric invasion by banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing."

Much like in the 2022 Winter Olympics, Russians will be competing under the name of the Russian Paralympic Committee and an IPC flag. Those are a result of the Russian doping scandal that has barred Russia from utilizing their anthem and flag 

Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee called for sports organizations to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in international events following Russia's invasion.

A group called Athletes of Ukraine also criticized the IPC and stated that they are "choosing bloodshed and profits over principle and stakeholders." In addition, the Olympic and Paralympic Committee of the United States did not agree with the ruling.

"We are disappointed in this outcome as it excuses Russia's disregard for not only the Olympic truce, but also for the victims of a senseless war," the governing bodies said in a statement.