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International Paralympic Committee decides to maintain Russia’s membership suspension

May 22, 16:46 UTC+3

Russian athletes may not be allowed to compete in the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang

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© Dmitriy Serebriakov/TASS

LONDON, May 22. /TASS/. The Governing Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has unanimously decided to maintain the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee’s membership, IPC President Philip Craven said on Monday.

"The IPC Governing Board unanimously decided to maintain the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee," Craven said. 

"The IPC suspended the RPC last August due to Professor McLaren’s findings, findings that shocked the Paralympic Movement and findings that highlighted that the RPC was unable to fulfil its IPC membership obligations and particularly its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code," he added.

Russian athletes may not be allowed to compete in the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang if Russia’s Paralympic Committee fails to fulfill the reinstatement criteria by early September, he went on. 

"Although we are pleased with the progress to date, a number of key criteria still need to be met," he said. "At the moment there are a lot of good plans with timelines on paper but we now need to see plans in action and delivering concrete results," Craven added.

"The IPC Taskforce will next update the IPC Governing Board in September and if the obligations have not been fully met by then, it will be very difficult for the RPC to have its suspension lifted in time to enter its athletes into the Paralympic Winter Games," he added.

"As IPC President I want to get this situation resolved as quickly as possible. Russia is a great sporting nation and the Paralympic Movement would like to see Russia back competing as soon as it can prove it has met the reinstatement criteria in full," Craven said. He pointed out that the IPC was committed to this situation. "Our mind is set currently on doing all we can to have the Russian Paralympic Committee at Pyeongchang 2018," the IPC president stressed.

On August 7, 2016, the International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee and barred the entire Russian team from the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. On August 23, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the IPC ruling that came on the heels of a report delivered in July by the World Anti-Doping Agency (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 had been concealed by Russian Paralympic Committee between 2012 and 2015.

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