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Ex-sports minister slams IPC criteria for Russia's reinstatement as ‘shakedown’

November 23, 2016, 12:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"This is an attempt to drag us into a long, drawn-out reinstatement process," Russia’s former sports minister Vitaly Mutko said

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Russia’s former sports minister Vitaly Mutko

Russia’s former sports minister Vitaly Mutko

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. The criteria announced by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for reinstating the Russian Paralympic Committee are inadequate, Russia’s former sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who is now the deputy prime minister for sports, tourism and youth policy, said on Wednesday.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) published its criteria on Monday. In particular, the RPC has to pay €250,000 (16.9 mln rubles) for each year of its suspension and another €125,000 (8.4 mln rubles) annually for three years once its membership in the IPC will have been reinstated. Besides, the criteria include the demand to exclude the representatives of state authorities from the governing bodies of the RPC.

"It is difficult to say something here, I understand that the RPC will meet with the IPC to discuss the criteria," Mutko said. "The demands are indeed inadequate, there are no specific and adequate complaints about the current work of the Paralympic Committee, this only concerns the alleged violations. For today, the Paralympic Committee’s guilt is unclear."

The IPC demands echo those set before the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF), Mutko said. "This is an attempt to drag us into a long, drawn-out reinstatement process. Of course, this is all beyond the law and common sense. But now, unfortunately, this is the current reality in international sports," he stressed.

Mutko castigated the IPC’s position as unconstructive. "The International Paralympic Committee in this situation does not behave like a serious public organization. IPC officials believe that there is no one above them, only their conscience. Does this mean that the state is not supposed to participate in the management process? The worldwide Paralympic movement doesn’t do anything without the support of the state."

Nevertheless, there is the need to analyze these criteria, to draw up a plan and get down to work, Mutko said. "Of course, these financial demands are excessive, I would even call it a shakedown. Where should the Paralympic movement get so this money from? The demands should be equal for everyone," he said.

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.

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