MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Over 50 Russian athletes will take part next month in the qualifying tournaments for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang, the press service of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) announced on Tuesday.
"In January next year, Russian athletes in alpine skiing will take part in the qualifying competitions of the World Cup stages min Switzerland, Slovenia and Croatia," the RPC stated. "Cross country skiers and biathlon racers will take part in the qualifying tournament of the World Cup in Germany."
In early September, the Executive Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided to extend the suspension of the RPC membership within the international organization, imposed in 2016. The IPC, however, pointed out the progress achieved by Russia in pursuing the implementation of the required reinstatement criteria.
The IPC also announced that Russian Para-athletes were given the green light for the qualifying tournaments of the 2018 Paralympics with the status of neutral representatives in four sports, namely alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing and snowboarding.
The 2018 Winter Paralympics, which are officially dubbed as the 12th Paralympic Winter Games, will be held in South Korea’s PyeongChang between March 9 and 18. The previous Winter Paralympics were held in Russia’s Sochi in 2014.
On August 7, 2016, the IPC 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, 2016 upheld the IPC ruling that came on the heels of a report delivered a month earlier by the WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren.
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.