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Russian Paralympians still have chances to compete in 2018 Winter Games — media

August 30, 17:55 UTC+3 BERLIN
German news agency DPA cited the IPC spokesman as saying that earlier reports regarding the ban of Russian athletes for participating in the 2018 Winter Paralympics as incorrect
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© Alexandr Ryumin/TASS

BERLIN, August 30. /TASS/. Russian Paralympians will be allowed to participate in the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea in case the country’s Paralympic body implements all required criteria to reinstate its membership in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), according to German media.

German news agency DPA cited IPC spokesman Craig Spence as saying on Tuesday that earlier reports regarding the ban of Russian athletes for participating in the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang as incorrect.

Spence told DPA that as soon as the Russian Paralympic Committee’s (RPC) implemented all required criteria, its membership suspension in the IPC would be lifted and Russian athletes would be cleared for the Winter Games in South Korea.

RPC President Vladimir Lukin told TASS earlier in the day that the country’s Paralympic body had sent an inquiry to the IPC asking to specify the criteria necessary for reinstating Russia’s suspended membership.

"They (IPC) never clarified the criteria required for membership restoration, therefore we have forwarded an inquiry regarding this issue," Lukin said in an interview with TASS.

On August 7, the IPC decided to bar the whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The ruling came on the heels of a report delivered earlier in the summer by the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The commission, led by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, claimed in particular that a total of 35 doping samples were concealed in the Russian Paralympic sports between 2012 and 2015. However, it turned out later that not all the stated cases of concealed doping samples concerned the Russian Paralympic Committee. Nevertheless, the IPC decided on collectively punishing the Russian national team.

The RPC filed a lawsuit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on August 15 in Lausanne against the IPC’s decision, but eight days later, the Swiss-based court ruled to uphold the ban slapped on the whole Russian Paralympic squad.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that Russia would organize alternative competitive events for the barred Russian Paralympic team and the awards for Paralympians would be equal to those promised at the 2016 Rio Games.

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