Russian, Belarusian Paralympic committees exit Beijing, reserve right to later legal action

The Russian and Belarusian Paralympic Committees have left the athlete village in Beijing and have no immediate plans for legal action.

RPC issues statement Friday criticizing the IPC decision as 'absolutely politicized'

Ruslan Batyrshin (left), RPC Para ice hockey coach, looks on during a Russian Paralympic Committee Para Ice Hockey training session at National Indoor Stadium in Beijing. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Russian and Belarusian Paralympic Committees have left the athlete village in Beijing and have no immediate plans for legal action.

CBC Sports' Scott Russell revealed on the Paralympics opening ceremony broadcast that both Russian and Belarusian athletes exited the village by 5 p.m. local time on Thursday.

The RPC issued a statement Friday criticizing the decision to exclude Russian athletes from the Paralympics and said the move was "absolutely politicized."

It said its lawyers had determined that the Court of Arbitration for Sport would not be able to render a decision "during the accelerated proceedings."

The RPC said it reserved "the right to apply to the appropriate international and national court" later at its own discretion. It said it was not "worthwhile at the current time to remain in Beijing" and planned to leave. The team is expected to fly out on Sunday.

WATCH | While You Were Sleeping — opening ceremony:

The RPC also criticized International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who earlier this week recommended that "international sports federations and sports event organizers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions."

It said Bach's move lead "to the degradation and collapse of the world sport."

WATCH | Ukrainian athletes call for Russia, Belarus to be banned from Paralympics:

Ukrainian athletes release video calling for Russia, Belarus to be banned from Paralympics

11 months ago
Duration 2:03
'Global Athlete' released a video featuring Ukrainian athletes, calling for Russian and Belarusian exclusion from the Beijing 2022 Paralympics after violating the Olympic truce.

With files from CBC Sports

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