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Russian athletes to enjoy full state support ahead of Paralympics, MP says

Russian Paralympians have been allowed to compete in the Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang as neutral athletes

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Russia’s authorities will provide full support to the country’s athletes, who will take part in the Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, a member of the State Duma committee for physical culture, sports, tourism and youth affairs Dmitry Svishchyov told TASS.

On Monday, the International Paralympic Committee announced that it was maintaining the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC). However, eligible Russian Para athletes who meet strict conditions will be allowed to compete in five sports under the name Neutral Paralympic Athlete (NPA). From 30 to 35 Russian athletes will take part in the Paralympics.

"If we take into account that our Paralympians could have been banned from the event, this is a victory," Svishchyov said. "On the other hand, this attitude to the people, who prove their right to take part in the Paralympic Games by their courage and will, is blasphemy and madness."

"However, now, taking into consideration the experience of selection for the Olympic Games, we need to brace up very quickly and swiftly, and understand the prospects at the Paralympics, and provide our Paralympians, who will perform in South Korea, with everything needed. They will get full financial, material and moral support," the lawmaker said.

"We still have time and I’m sure that more unpleasant surprises may be expected from the IPC and we will hold consultations with them. I still want to congratulate those guys, who have been allowed to the Paralympics. This is our pride, our force, and they will prove by their own example how to prepare and win," he added.

South Korea’s PyeongChang will host the Paralympic Games on March 9-18.