MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) re-examined 21 doping samples obtained from seven participants of the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, flaws were found in 18 them, the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) said.
IPC informed that it was re-examining doping samples at a meeting with a group of lawmakers from the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russian parliament, that took place in Germany’s Bonn on March 10. Three samples were found to be unfit for examination.
"All the (remaining) 18 containers with samples were found to bear flaws, such as punctures, scratches and other traces of what (WADA Independent Commission Head) Richard McLaren and the IPC see as signs of tampering with the test tubes in order to prevent the discovery of banned substances. Besides, the above-mentioned seven paralympic athletes were never notified of violating anti-doping rules," the RPC said in a statement.
The RPC said it had requested the names of those athletes from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the IPC and McLaren, but was not provided with sufficient information.
Earlier on Tuesday, the RPC has called as ‘inconsistent’ the data mentioned in the report of the WADA Independent Commission on the doping samples of Russian Paralympians. The committee said it had been informed about 10 new doping cases after the McLaren report was published. However, as the Russian side explained, only 28 out of 45 doping samples belonged to Paralympians. 17 Paralympic athletes have been sanctioned while 11 samples have not been confirmed.
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.