MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had "productive and open" talks earlier in the week with Russian representatives regarding the reinstatement of Russia’s suspended membership in the global organization, IPC spokesman Craig Spence told TASS on Thursday.
The IPC hosted a meeting on Tuesday at its headquarters in Bonn, Germany with representatives of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) discussing a list of criteria, necessary for the reinstatement of Russia’s membership, which was suspended earlier in the year after a series of doping-related accusation from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission.
"The IPC enjoyed a productive and open meeting with the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) on Tuesday at its head office in Bonn, Germany," IPC spokesman Spence said in an interview with TASS. "The RPC had multiple questions to further their understanding of the IPC reinstatement criteria."
The next meeting between the IPC and RPC representatives has been scheduled for January 12, 2017 with the venue to be announced later. Besides the issue of the membership reinstatement, Russia is also clarifying whether its national Paralympians would be allowed to participate in the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
"The IPC Taskforce will reply to the RPC on any outstanding matters after its January meeting," Spence added.
On August 7, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided to bar the whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The ruling 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 sports 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’s membership.
The IPC later put forward a list of criteria needed for Russia to implement in order to regain its membership in the global organization and set up a special Taskforce group to monitor the implementation of the requirements in question.
According to the Part Two of the McLaren report, delivered in London on December 9, Russia’s six winners of 21 Paralympic medals were found to have had their urine samples tampered with at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. However, no names were provided.