MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/. The Russian national Paralympic team is very likely to be allowed to participate in 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday.
"We are ready to assist the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) at the state level," Mutko said. "They (RPC) must acquire a roadmap from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and follow its provisions just like in case with the (Russian) track and field athletics."
"The IPC needs to work out criteria otherwise the Paralympians will be filing individual lawsuits," Mutko said. "I do not believe that we will miss the (2018) Winter Paralympics."
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 by 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.
Last month IPC spokesman Craig Spence told TASS that the international committee was working to define criteria for Russia on reinstating its membership in the global organization.
However, RPC First Vice President Pavel Rozhkov said last week that the IPC kept providing them with very vague requirements regarding the membership reinstatement, while the deadline for Russia to apply for qualifying tournaments ahead of the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea was about to expire.