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MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. The Taskforce group of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is set to continue talks on Thursday regarding the reinstatement of Russia’s suspended membership in the global organization, but the progress summary on the issue will be announced as early as in late January or later, IPC spokesman Craig Spence told TASS on Wednesday.
A previous meeting on the issue was held on December 20 at the IPC headquarters in Bonn, Germany with representatives of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC). The discussion focused on a list of criteria, necessary for the reinstatement of the country’s membership, which was suspended last year following a series of doping-related accusation on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission.
"The IPC Taskforce is meeting tomorrow," Spence told TASS. "In terms of media, there will be nothing coming out of it."
Besides the issue of the membership reinstatement, Russia is also trying to clarify whether its national Paralympians would be allowed to participate in the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
"The Taskforce will mainly be meeting to discuss updates from the RPC and also to develop the answers to the questions the RPC asked of the IPC in December," Spence said.
"The IPC Taskforce will then write an update report for the IPC Governing Board which will meet at the end of January," the IPC spokesman stated. "After this Governing Board meeting we will publish a summary of the current progress."
On August 7, the International Paralympic Committee (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 in July by the WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren.
The McLaren-led commission claimed in particular that a total of 35 doping samples were concealed by Russian Paralympic sports between 2012 and 2015.
Besides collectively punishing the Russian national team by banning it from the Rio Games, the IPC also decided to suspend the RPC’s membership.
The IPC later put forward a list of criteria needed for Russia to implement in order to regain its membership in the global organization and set up a special Taskforce group to monitor the implementation of the requirements in question.
According to the Part Two of the McLaren report, delivered in London on December 9, Russia’s six winners of 21 Paralympic medals were found to have had their urine samples tampered with at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. However, no names were provided.