Athletes' safety our priority - IPC

The Bolton News: Sir Philip Craven says the main concern is just about ensuring the safety of athletes Sir Philip Craven says the main concern is just about ensuring the safety of athletes

International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven insists the governing body will "leave global politics to the politicians" amid growing fears of conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia have threatened military intervention in neighbouring Ukraine as violent demonstrations continue throughout the latter nation.

Tensions are currently highest in the Crimea region, which lies only 294 miles north-west of Sochi - the host city for the Paralympic Winter Games.

The Games are scheduled to get under way on Friday and Craven has already arrived in south-west Russia to meet volunteers and organising committee president Dimitry Chernyshenko.

The five-time Paralympian in wheelchair basketball has no security concerns, saying: "We're fully aware of what is going on elsewhere and will leave global politics to the politicians.

"We're monitoring the situation closely and the safety and well-being of athletes and officials is our top priority.

"Final preparations are on track ahead of Friday's opening ceremony and we are confident of a great Games here in Sochi."

Sochi 2014 will be Craven's fourth and final Paralympic Winter Games as IPC president.

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