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Most Paralympic athletes from Russia seek to participate in PyeongChang Games

From 30 to 35 Russian athletes will take part in the Paralympics scheduled for March 9-18

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. In spite of the pending decision on the participation of Russia's Paralympic athletes in the PyeongChang Games, most athletes believe it is vital to compete in the events, President of the Russian Paralympic Committee Vladimir Lukin told a plenary session of the upper house, the Federation Council, on Wednesday.

On January 29, the International Paralympic Committee announced that it was maintaining the August 2016 suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC). However, eligible Russian Paralympians 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 scheduled for March 9-18.

"We haven’t made this decision [on the participation] yet. Tomorrow, a meeting of the Russian Paralympic Committee’s Executive Committee will convene with broad participation by coaches and athletes. Moreover, certainly, it is up to them to decide whether to participate or not. Preliminary talks with key coaches and the most well-known Paralympic athletes suggest that most of them believe it is necessary to take part in the Games in March," said Lukin, who is also deputy chairman of the upper house’s International Affairs Committee.

Some 67 Paralympic athletes have undergone checks carried out by foreign agencies, he said. "However, they have halved our numbers saying that only 35 of them will participate. Among those rejected are hockey players and most importantly, our skiers and biathletes, who are the key traditional force of our team," he said.