The Executive Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has ruled to bar Russian Paralympians from qualifiers for the 2018 Paralympic Games in South Korea’s Pyeongchang, the press service of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) said on Monday.
“The RPC has received a reply from the IPC signed by IPC President Philip Craven to the RPC application for admission of Russian Paralympians to international qualification tournaments ahead of the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, against our concrete guarantees. In his reply, Mr. Craven informs that the RPC’s proposals have been conveyed to the IPC executive board members. The IPC executive board discussed them on January 29, 2017 at its meeting in Bonn. Following the discussion, the IPC executive board passed a decision to turn down the RPC’s proposals,” the press service said.
The Russian Paralympic Committee will continue to train Russian Paralympians for the 2018 Games, despite the ban to take part in qualification tournaments, the IPC press service said on Monday.
“The RPC reserves the right to defend legal rights of Russian Paralympians in an established procedure in line with Russian and international laws,” the press service said. “The RPC will continue to train para athletes for the Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea.”
On August 7, 2016, the International Paralympic Committee 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 upheld the IPC ruling that came on the heels of a report delivered in July by the WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren.
The McLaren-led commission claimed in particular that a total of 35 doping samples were concealed by Russian Paralympic sports between 2012 and 2015.
Besides collectively punishing the Russian national team by banning it from the Rio Games, the IPC also decided to suspend the RPC membership in the international organization. The Russian Paralympic team is now facing a possibility of being banned from the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
On November 21, the IPC made public a list of criteria Russia must meet to resume the RPC membership and be allowed to take part in international competitions. Officials from the two Paralympic organizations met in mid-December in Bonn to discuss these criteria.
On January 11, the Russian Paralympic Committee referred to the IPC its edition of the roadmap for resumption of its membership.