MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Moscow is outraged by Germany’s decision to deny visas to the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) delegation at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) extraordinary session in Berlin this week, Ivan Nechayev, Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department, told a briefing on Thursday.
"We resent the fact that Germany refused to issue entry visas to our delegates representing the Russian Paralympic Committee, who had been invited by the International Olympic Committee [IPC] to attend the extraordinary session of the organization’s General Assembly in Berlin on November 16," the diplomat said.
"We consider the denial of the Russian Paralympic Committee’s representatives to attend the General Assembly to be a manifestation of a prejudiced and biased competition," he said.
On Wednesday, at an extraordinary general assembly, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee’s (RPC) membership in the organization. Under the IPC’s decision, the RPC forfeits all rights in the organization, except for the right to appeal. If the appeal is turned down, the suspension can only be overturned by the IPC General Assembly. The IPC is expected to hold its next General Assembly in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The extraordinary IPC general assembly was organized on November 17 in the German capital of Berlin and, according to previous media reports, Germany denied entry visas to delegates representing the Russian Paralympic Committee.
RPC ongoing spat with IPC
On August 7, 2016, the International Paralympic committee (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’s membership in the international organization.
However, the team of Russian athletes, led by Rozhkov, was allowed to participate in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where it finished in 4th place in the overall medals standings among the rest of the national participants.
Para athletes from Russia also participated in the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang on a neutral status, dubbed as the Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA), as the RPC’s membership with the IPC (the International Paralympic Committee) was suspended at that time.
Russia’s so-called ‘neutral’ team of Para athletes brought home a total of 24 medals in PyeongChang, including eight gold, 10 silver and six bronze, ranking second in the overall medal count at the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, after the national team of the United States.