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ABU-DHABI, September 6. /TASS/. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has ruled in favor of extending the current suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) in the global organization, IPC President Sir Philip Craven announced on Wednesday.
The decision jeopardizes further chances of Russia’s participation in the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
"The IPC Taskforce, a group of five people, was appointed last December to assist the Governing Board in monitoring the RPC’s progress in meeting the reinstatement criteria," Craven said at a news conference on Wednesday. "It has so far provided three updates in February, May and now September."
"Overall, the IPC Taskforce highlighted that they are impressed at the significant progress the RPC has made in meeting the reinstatement criteria since May, initiating a real change in culture within Russia regarding anti-doping matters," the IPC chief continued.
However, Craven said, some of the criteria were still left for Russia to be implemented and: "As a result of the IPC Taskforce’s update and its recommendation, the IPC Governing Board has decided to maintain the suspension of the RPC with a further review due in November 2017 following the WADA Foundation Board meeting."
Russian Para-athletes were granted the right to take part in the qualifying tournaments for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in the status of neutral Para-athletes, Sir Philip Craven announced.
"In recognition of the fact that the RPC only has seven criteria still to meet, the Board has put in place a limited interim measure for Russian athletes to compete as neutrals in qualification events across four sports for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games," Craven said. "This is with immediate effect and subject to Russian athletes meeting certain conditions that we have published."
"The winter World Para Sports where Russian athletes meeting the pre-determined conditions will be allowed to compete as neutrals are alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing and snowboard," according to the IPC head. "Under the sport rules for Para ice hockey, Russia has already missed the opportunity to qualify for PyeongChang 2018."
The 22nd Paralympic Winter Games are scheduled to be held in South Korea’s PyeongChang between February 9 and 25, 2018.