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Russia’s membership reinstatement with IPC is ‘a matter of several weeks’, hopes RPC chief

Vladimir Lukin said that the Committee and the atheletes are preparing for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo

KRASNOYARSK, December 6. /TASS/. The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) may be reinstated in its rights with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in the weeks to come, RPC President Vladimir Lukin told on Thursday.

"We are preparaing for the Paralympics in Japan [in 2020, in Tokyo]," Lukin said in an interview with TASS. "We are unclear at the moment about our status at the Games."

"But I hope that this matter [of the membership reinstatement] is the case of several weeks and not years," Lukin said after a session of the RPC Executive Board in the city of Krasnoyarsk. "Our belief is that we will be enjoying a full-fledged participation [in the 2020 Paralympics] and are actively preparing for it."

Following a meeting of the IPC Executive Board members on September 10-11 in Spain’s Madrid, the global Paralympic body announced its decision to maintain the RPC membership suspension saying the Russian national committee failed to implement two of the initially required criteria and also had to reimburse the IPC with 257,500 euros.

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.

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.