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Door to 2018 Games still open for Russian paralympians — official

February 01, 5:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The IPC on Sunday turned down a request to allow Russian athletes enter into qualification events for the PyeongChang 2018

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Members of the Russian paralympic team at sporting event in Russia

Members of the Russian paralympic team at sporting event in Russia

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS /. Russian paralympic athletes will be able to take part in the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang if the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) restores Russian membership in May, a member of the IPC Athletes’ Council said.

On Sunday, January 29, the IPC Governing Board unanimously turned down a request from the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) to allow Russian athletes enter into upcoming qualification events for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games while its membership remains suspended.

"The IPC decision to bar Russian athletes from the 2018 Games qualification leaves little chance for the athletes to take part in the Paralympic Games, but it is still a chance nevertheless. This road will be difficult, additional qualification rounds may be held during the next season. If the IPC thinks that the possible resumption of the Russian Paralympic Committee's membership leaves some chance for participating in the Korean Paralympics, then this chance really does exist," Mikhail Terentyev told TASS Tuesday.

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.

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 Paralympics.

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.

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 January 31.

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