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WADA’s decisions complicate preparations of Russian team for 2020 Paralympics — official

Asked about how the current situation differs from that before the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang, the Russian Paralympic Committee head said they were almost identical

MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. A recent decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to impose sanctions against Russian sports is certainly complicating preparations of the Russian national team for the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, Vladimir Lukin, the president of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), told TASS on Tuesday.

The Executive Committee (ExCo) approved on Monday the recommendations of its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to annul the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) as well as to strip Russia of the right to participate in major international sports tournaments, including the Olympics and World Championships, for the period of four years.

The WADA ExCo also ruled that Russia must not host, or bid for hosting any major international sports tournament in the four-year period. Russian state officials, as well as the staff of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), were banned from attending all major international sports tournaments for the period of four years.

"Everything has been put into the protocols already, but undoubtedly I am extremely disappointed that difficulties arose again," the RPC president stated. "I am deeply disappointed."

"I believe that we will have to stand for our rights in the court in future, but at the moment it is up to RUSADA to take the next steps," Lukin continued. "This situation seriously complicates the process of our preparations for the Paralympics."

The 2020 Summer Paralympic Games will run in Tokyo between August 25 and September 6.

Asked about how the current situation differs from the developments before the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang, Lukin said: "They are almost identical, because there are no definite accusations again in regard to the Russian Paralympic Committee on violations of anti-doping rules."

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced in February that RPC’s membership was conditionally reinstated within the global organization. The conditional lifting of the suspension is in force until December 31, 2022, which means that the Russian side must strictly abide by a number of special requirements to avoid a repetition of the sanctions.

The IPC suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee in August 2016 in the wake of a report delivered a month earlier by the WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren. The report stated among other things that Russia allegedly employed a state-sponsored doping system.

On August 7, 2016, the IPC decided to bar the entire Russian team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. Besides skipping the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Brazil due to the imposed sanctions, the Russian Paralympians partly missed the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang since just a few of them were cleared to participate under the so-called neutral status.