BONN /Germany/, January 30. /TASS/. The evidence Russia showed to refute the conclusions of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission headed by Richard McLaren is not enough, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons told TASS.
On Monday, the IPC announced that it was maintaining the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) "after receiving an update from the IPC Taskforce responsible for monitoring the RPC’s progress in meeting the reinstatement criteria." According to the IPC, "the Taskforce highlighted two criteria that are still outstanding: the full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)" and "the provision of an official response specifically and adequately addressing the findings made by Professor McLaren."
"Of course you can only change something if you admit that it happened. When you don’t admit that it happened, is because you don’t make any effort to change that. So that’s why it’s so important," Parsons said in this regard. "It is also not only criteria set by the International Paralympic committee, it’s criteria that was agreed by the Russian Paralympic movement. But it is also criteria set by WADA," he added.
In January, the RPC provided new information to the IPC Taskforce concerning RUSADA’s implementation of the reinstatement criteria, while Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov sent a letter to Parsons concerning McLaren’s report.
When commenting on the letter, the IPC president said that "only a statement saying ‘we didn’t do that’ is not enough, they have to show evidence, because there was evidence in the other direction." According to Parsons, this is the reason why the IPC maintains Russia’s suspension.
As the RPC remains suspended, Russian Para athletes will compete in the Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, due on March 9-19, as neutrals.