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Italy not sending officials to Paralympics opening

Sochi boycott part of protest against Russia's role in Ukraine

07 March, 19:32
Italy not sending officials to Paralympics opening (ANSA) - Rome, March 7 - Italy decided to send athletes but no officials to take part in the opening ceremonies Friday of the Winter Paralympic games in the Russian city of Sochi, sources told ANSA.

The 11th-hour decision came after other countries, including the United States and Britain, announced that while their athletes would participate, no officials would be involved in the formal opening, to show disapproval of Russia's role in the crisis in Ukraine. Ukraine also announced Friday that it would participate only in the games but not any ceremonies after Russian troops took over the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Earlier this week, the head of Italy's Olympic committee (Coni) Giovanni Malagò said boycotts of the Paralympic wrongly mixed politics with sports and amounted to "political exploitation".