WASHINGTON, March 24. /TASS/. Russia’s Paralympic team is preparing for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang despite the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee’s membership in the International Paralympic Committee, RPC President Vladimir Lukin told TASS.
"The preparation is already underway, we are getting ready. We are preparing for the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea as normal," Lukin said on the sidelines a book presentation event organized by the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe and in the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington.
"Unfortunately, the team was barred from participation in qualification contests as Russia’s membership in the International Paralympic Committee had been suspended," Lukin said. "Of course, this restriction puts into question its participation. "But we are preparing as normal," he said.
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 team 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 due to be held on March 9-18 in PyeongChang.