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Russian Paralympic chief hopes for IPC’s common sense approach on issue of 2018 Games

November 20, 2017, 16:40 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG

The IPC should realize that "not the whole countries, not the teams and not the peoples are responsible for violations of anti-doping rules, but definite athletes," Vladimir Lukin said

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© AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

YEKATERINBURG, November 20. /TASS/. President of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) Vladimir Lukin said on Monday he hoped for a common sense approach of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) regarding Russia’s participation in the 2018 Winter Paralympics.

"We will have chances if the IPC takes a common sense approach and realizes that not the whole countries, not the teams and not the peoples are responsible for violations of anti-doping rules, but definite athletes," Lukin told journalists.

The RPC president said that the membership reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) would not guarantee Russia’s participation in the 2018 Games.

"Both, the WADA and RUSADA are very influential organizations, but it is not in their authority to decide whether athletes would be cleared to participate in the Games," Lukin said. "They may come up with recommendations, but the final decision will be made by the IPC, which is set to convene soon for a session and decide on a host of issues, including this one."

On August 7, 2016, the IPC decided to bar the entire Russian team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on August 23, 2016 upheld the IPC ruling that came on the heels of a report delivered a month earlier by the WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren.

Besides collectively punishing the Russian national team by banning it from the Rio Games, the IPC also decided to suspend the RPC (Russian Paralympic Committee) membership in the international organization.

In early September, the IPC Executive Board decided to extend the suspension of the RPC membership within the international organization, however, it pointed to the great progress achieved by Russia in pursuing the reinstatement criteria.

IPC ex-President Sir Philip Craven announced at that time that although the global Paralympic body had acknowledged Russia’s significant progress in working towards its membership reinstatement, the suspension would remain in force.

The September decision made by the ex-IPC president jeopardized further chances of Russia’s participation in the Paralympic Winter Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang next year.

Ex-President Craven, however, announced that Russian Para-athletes were given the green light for the qualifying tournaments of the 2018 Paralympics with the status of neutral representatives in four sports, namely alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing and snowboarding.

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