MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Twenty sports federations have granted permission for Russian Para athletes to compete in international tournaments, including in the curling qualifiers for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang, a senior Russian Paralympic official said on Thursday.
"The World Curling Federation as well as 19 more federations have granted access for our athletes," Pavel Rozhkov, the first vice president of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), said.
"They are taking part in the European and world championships as well as in the qualifying competitions," Rozhkov said adding that the World Curling Federation is the only one among the mentioned-above federations with its sport included in the program of the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea.
The IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Governing Board announced its decision on January 30 to keep the Russian athletes suspended from taking part in the qualifying competitions for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games.
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.