Match TV has refused to show coverage of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics after the Russian Paralympic Committee's ban ©Getty Images

Russian state channel Match TV has refused to show coverage of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics, following the expulsion of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) team from the Games.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus had been set to compete under a neutral banner at Beijing 2022 following the invasion of Ukraine, but the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) reversed its decision on Thursday (March 3), claiming that "multiple" National Paralympic Committees had threatened to pull out of the Games.

Match TV claimed that it reached its judgement as a protest against the IPC's decision.

"Several years of athletes’ preparations have been wasted due to an obviously politically-motivated decision of global officials," the broadcaster said, as reported by Russian state news agency TASS.

"Having promoted for many years a slogan of 'sports beyond politics', the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee forgot about it, once it became suitable for some politicians.

"Match TV is a federal sports channel and our athletes’ performance at major sports tournaments is a priority.

"We express solidarity with our athletes - live broadcasting of the Paralympic Games in Beijing on Match TV has been cancelled."

IPC President Andrew Parsons insisted Russian and Belarusian athletes were
IPC President Andrew Parsons insisted Russian and Belarusian athletes were "victims of your Governments' actions" ©Getty Images

Match TV's stance follows criticism from the Kremlin, with Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, branding the ban "a disgrace".

However, the RPC yesterday confirmed that its athletes will leave Beijing in the near future having been unable to lodge a successful appeal.

A breakaway competition for Russian and Belarusian competitors is due to be held at venues used during Sochi 2014.

Moscow has passed a law giving it more stringent powers to crack down on independent journalism, with Facebook among the websites to be blocked in Russia.

IPC President Andrew Parsons insisted that athletes from both Russia and Belarus were "victims of your Governments' actions", but that their involvement would hamper the staging of a "viable Games".

At yesterday's Opening Ceremony, the Brazilian official said he was "horrified with what is taking place in the world", and he concluded his speech by passionately bellowing the word "peace".

The sporting world has joined the condemnation of Russia's actions, with the IOC on Monday (February 28) recommending that its and Belarus' athletes and officials are banned from all international sporting events.

A majority of International Federations have heeded this call.

More than one million people have fled Ukraine since beginning of the conflict, while more than 2,000 civilians have been killed according to the Government.