MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has positively evaluated the work of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) on its membership reinstatement in the global body, IPC President Sir Philip Craven said on Tuesday.
The IPC president also said that the next meeting on the issue with representatives from the RPC would be held in May.
"The IPC Governing Board was encouraged by the cooperation witnessed so far between the IPC Taskforce and the Russian Paralympic Committee and we sincerely hope this continues in the future," a statement from the IPC quoted Craven as saying.
"The next steps are for the IPC Taskforce and the RPC to finalize and agree on a roadmap for how the Reinstatement Criteria will be met and for the IPC Taskforce to provide feedback on the composition of the RPC’s Co-ordination Commission," he said.
"Although things are moving in the right direction, meeting the Reinstatement Criteria is not a tick box exercise," according to Craven. "As part of this process we need to see the significant practical and cultural changes that are required in order for the RPC to fulfil its IPC membership obligations in full."
"We look forward to receiving a further update from the IPC Taskforce at our next meeting in May," the IPC president added.
The IPC Governing Board announced its decision on Monday to keep the Russian athletes suspended from taking part in the qualifying competitions for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
On August 7, 2016, the International Paralympic Committee 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 upheld the IPC ruling that 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 membership in the international organization. The Russian Paralympic team is now facing a possibility of being banned from the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
On November 21, the IPC made public a list of criteria Russia must meet to resume the RPC membership and be allowed to take part in international competitions. Officials from the two Paralympic organizations met in mid-December in Bonn to discuss these criteria.
On January 11, the Russian Paralympic Committee referred to the IPC its edition of the roadmap for resumption of its membership.