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IPC approves 30 Russian paralympians to compete at Paralympic Winter Games as neutrals

All 30 athletes met the qualification criteria for the Games

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has approved 30 Russian Para athletes to compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games as neutrals, the committee said in a statement.

"The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has approved and welcomes 30 Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) to compete in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, which open on 9 March," the statement reads.

"The delegation features ten athletes who will compete in alpine skiing, 12 in Nordic skiing and three in snowboard. The Neutral Paralympic Athletes wheelchair curling team will feature five players. Six guides will support athletes who compete with a vision impairment, while the delegation will benefit from a further 39 support personnel and team officials," the IPC elaborated.

"All 30 athletes met the qualification criteria for the Games and fulfil the strict eligibility conditions for Russian athletes to compete as neutrals that were published by the IPC on 29 January. This means that all athletes selected for PyeongChang 2018 are part of a registered testing pool, have undergone at least two anti-doping tests in the last six months prior to the Games and participated in, and successfully completed, a Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) anti-doping education session," the statement says.

On January 29, the IPC announced that it was maintaining the suspension of the RPC "after receiving an update from the IPC Taskforce responsible for monitoring the RPC’s progress in meeting the reinstatement criteria."

According to the IPC, "the Taskforce highlighted two criteria that are still outstanding: the full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)" and "the provision of an official response specifically and adequately addressing the findings made by Professor McLaren." As the RPC remains suspended, Russian Para athletes will compete in the Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, due on March 9-18, as neutrals.