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Kremlin welcomes IPC’s decision to reinstate Russia’s Paralympic Committee

The International Paralympic Committee has decided to conditionally reinstate Russia’s Paralympic Committee
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov  Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Moscow views positively the decision by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to conditionally reinstate Russia’s Paralympic Committee, which will enable Russian Para athletes to perform at international competitions under the national flag, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"We are undoubtedly happy for our Paralympians. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has never denied them his attention and has always expressed his full and unconditional support and everyone in our country always admires the heroism and skills of our Paralympians," the Kremlin spokesman said.

‘We hope they will continue bringing joy to their fans in our country and abroad," Peskov added.

The Kremlin spokesman also said he hoped that "through the constructive and transparent work, our sports authorities will be able together with their colleagues to turn over this page [related to the doping scandal] in the relationships with international sports organizations."

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said in a statement on Friday it will conditionally lift the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) by March 15.

"In August 2016 the IPC suspended the RPC because it was necessary and proportionate to the situation we faced and essential to ensure clean sport," IPC President Andrew Parsons said, as cited in the statement.

"Twenty-nine months later it is the IPC Governing Board’s firm belief that keeping the RPC suspended is no longer necessary and proportionate to the situation we now face in Russia," he said. "We need to move things forward and find a solution that protects the integrity of Para sport, acknowledges the significant reforms made by the RPC, and enables the RPC to comply with its membership obligations," Parsons noted.

According to the statement, the only criterion that the RPC has not met is accepting the McLaren Report.

"The IPC reinstatement criteria, drafted back in November 2016, do not refer to the acceptance of any alternative report by Russia. It is very black and white and calls for the provision of an official response that specifically and adequately addresses the findings made by the McLaren Report and the McLaren Report only. Within its tight brief the IPC Taskforce had no option but to conclude that this criterion was not met," Parsons said, noting that the Board had decided "to find another way forward to enable the RPC to comply with its IPC membership obligations."

The IPC suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee in August 2016 in the wake of a report about a state-sponsored doping system in Russia, presented by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission headed by Richard McLaren. Russia had to fulfill 67 provisions set out in a roadmap for its reinstatement.