Global Athlete has urged IPC members to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from featuring at the Paris 2024 Paralympics on the eve of a General Assembly where a decision on the issue is set to be taken ©Getty Images

The Global Athlete group has urged members of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to ban Russia and Belarus from competing at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

IPC members are due to discuss and vote on the contentious issue during the organisation’s General Assembly, which is being held in Bahrain over two days beginning tomorrow.

In a statement on the eve of the meeting, Global Athlete said it believed that "neutrality is not an option."

"There is no such thing as a ‘neutral team’ or ‘neutral athlete’ at the Paralympic Games," Global Athlete said in a statement.

"Nationality is a central element of the Games - athletes are standard-bearers whose success is strongly associated with their homeland, regardless of whether flags, anthems, or national colours are stripped away.

"Removing identification does not change the fact that a team or an athlete represents their country - and in the case of Russia, represents, and potentially supports or serves for, the Putin regime.

"In concert with athletes from around the world, we urge the IPC to reject pressure from Russia, Belarus, and the International Olympic Committee to create a pathway for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete.

"Given the continued violation of sovereignty and ever-increasing toll of the conflict, the IPC has an ongoing responsibility as a world leader of sport to uphold its principled suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes.

Global Athlete said in a statement issued on the eve of the IPC General Assembly in Bahrain it did not believe that
Global Athlete said in a statement issued on the eve of the IPC General Assembly in Bahrain it did not believe that "neutrality" was an option for Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Paris 2024 Paralympics ©Global Athlete

"We call on the IPC to uphold the outright ban on Russia and Belarus for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games."

Shortly before the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics the IPC was forced to alter its position on allowing Russians and Belarusians to compete as neutrals due to the threat of a boycott by multiple National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Athletes from the two countries have remained banned following a decision by the IPC Governing Board in March last year.

The position was formalised in Berlin at an Extraordinary General Assembly of the IPC in November where the Russian and Belarusian NPCs were suspended.

Speaking exclusively to insidethegames in August, to mark one year until the start of the Paris 2024 Paralympics, IPC President Andrew Parsons said he believed the decision at the General Assembly in Bahrain would be respected whichever way it went.

"Whatever decision is taken I think people will accept because of the democratic process that we took," Parsons said.

"If it is full suspension, partial suspension with neutrals or no suspension, which are the three options we are putting forward to the membership, I think the Paralympic Movement as a whole will understand it and work with their athletes and with their Governments to make sure that the decision is respected."

A Russian Paralympic Committee delegation, led by the organisation's President Pavel Rozhkov has arrived in Bahrain to participate in the IPC General Assembly, as reported by TASS, Russia's official state news agency.