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Paralympic committees of 14 nations write letter in support of Russia

The signatories express their support to Russia's anti-doping efforts

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Heads and representatives of 14 national Paralympic committees have written a letter to express their support for Russia, whose membership was temporarily suspended by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) on Saturday organized a roundtable, featuring leaders of 15 national Paralympic committees, representing Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos, Moldova, Mongolia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Montenegro, South Korea and the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation.

After the meeting, the participants have adopted a joint open letter to the International Paralympic Committee.

"We share the opinion of the International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven that the Paralympic Committee of Russia continues to demonstrate sustainable and positive progress toward meeting the criteria for recovering its membership," reads the Russian version of the letter, released by the RPC.

"We, the signatories, are inspired by the Russian committee’s work to create an open environment with zero tolerance for doping and to protect clean sports; [to create] systematic technologies; to raise awareness in anti-doping issues not only among athletes but also among those who train them; [to set up] a database to prevent the use of doping in the Russian Paralympic sports," the letter reads.

"RPC’s efforts deserve a praise and may become an example for many other national Paralympic committees. We are convinced that it would be useful to share documents and references developed by the RPC with all Paralympic committees, because they have proven to be an efficient instrument in anti-doping efforts," it reads.

The Russian Committee’s efforts toward restoring its IPC membership will be scrutinized at a meeting between the RPC’s coordination committee and the IPC working group in Germany’s Bonn, due in late August. The criteria and recovery of the membership will be also be on agenda of a meeting of the International Paralympic Committee’s Executive Committee due in Abu-Dhabi on September 3-4.

In May, President of the International Paralympic Committee Philip Craven told a news conference the Russian team would not participate in the 2018 Paralympic Games if the national committee fails to meet the membership criteria by September.