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IPC welcomes re-election of Russia’s Paralympic leader, hopes for future cooperation

Para athletes from Russia participated in the 2018 Paralympics in the neutral status

MOSCOW, May 3. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) hails the re-election of Vladimir Lukin to the post of the president of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) and and looks forward to mutual cooperation in the future, IPC spokesperson Craig Spence told TASS.

Vladimir Lukin was re-elected as the RPC president for another four-year term at the organization’s reporting and election conference in Podolsk in the Moscow Region last week on Thursday. Lukin was the sole candidate for the seat of the RPC president and he had been nominated for this post by regional federations and the All-Russia Sports Federation of Athletes with Limited Abilities.

"The IPC welcome the re-election of Mr. Lukin," Spence said in an interview with TASS. "He boasts years of experience within the Paralympic Movement, is well respected within the IPC and his role as President will ensure continued co-operation between the IPC and RPC."

Lukin, who turned 80 last July, took the helm at Russia’s Paralympic Committee in January 1996 and was subsequently re-elected in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Asked whether a new and younger leader may be better to fit the post of the RPC president, IPC spokesperson said that "the IPC has no issue regarding whether it is a younger or older leader at the helm of the RPC."

"What is important is that the RPC has a leader with great experience of the Paralympic Movement with a strong passion for Para sport - Mt. Lukin fits the bill," Spence stated.

Spence also said that it was up to the RPC at the moment to make the moves in order to reinstate its currently suspended membership with the IPC.

"The IPC have been very clear that the RPC still have two reinstatement criteria to meet and the ball is currently in the RPC’s court to meet them," IPC spokesperson added.

On August 7, 2016, the 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’s 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.

Earlier this year, the world’s governing body of Paralympic sports stated that Russia’s membership suspension remained in force since the RPC failed to implement two provisions set out in the roadmap of the IPC Taskforce, which oversees the implementation of the requirements for the RPC reinstatement.

One of five provisions at the issue states that Russia is obliged to come up with "The full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)."

Para athletes from Russia participated in the 2018 Paralympics in the neutral status, dubbed as the Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA), as the membership of the RPC with the IPC is currently suspended.

Russia’s so-called ‘neutral’ team of Para athletes brought home from PyeongChang a total of 24 medals, namely eight gold, 10 silver and six bronze, ranking second in the overall medal count of the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, after the United States.