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IPC needs to specify criteria for Russia’s membership reinstatement — sports minister

March 15, 19:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"The situation with Paralympians is alarming and complicated," Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said
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MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) should come up with clear-cut and comprehensible criteria, required by the global body for the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) to reinstate its membership, Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said on Wednesday.

"The situation with Paralympians is alarming and complicated," Kolobkov said. "The IPC head says that the Russian team has all chances of taking part in the 2018 Paralympics, however, we seek more transparent and understandable movement."

"Considering all facts at the issue, I am sure that the RPC is doing everything possible for its membership’s reinstatement," Kolobkov said. "I believe that the IPC should reevaluate its approach to the current situation."

In its statement on Tuesday the RPC called as ‘inconsistent’ the data mentioned in the report of the WADA Independent Commission regarding doping samples of Russian Paralympians. According to the RPC, a meeting of Russian lawmakers and the IPC in Bonn on March 10 raised again an issue of 35 positive doping samples mentioned in the now-infamous McLaren report.

The RPC claimed in its statement that 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.

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.

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