Russian team banned from Winter Paralympics, athletes to compete as neutrals

Jan 31, 2018, 06:09
Russian team banned from Winter Paralympics, athletes to compete as neutrals

The Paralympic Committee said Russian athletes allowed to take part in in its games in March will also have to have undergone additional testing.

The Paralympics ban comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) barred Russia from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang this February over systematic doping, allowing only some Russian athletes to compete under under a neutral flag and forbidding Russia's national colors and anthem at the games.

The IPC said in a statement that "it is maintaining the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC)".

Further details will likely be decided after working-level discussions between the two Koreas.

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The Paralympic Committee also took a tougher line during the Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, banning Russia entirely from the games, while the IOC permitted the global federations of individuals to choose which athletes to let in. "So that's why it's so important", Parsons said in this regard. The athletes recently took part in a cross-country skiing race in the World Cup in Germany.

"However, in recognition of the progress made by the RPC in improving its anti-doping activities, it will allow eligible Russian Para athletes who meet strict conditions to compete in five sports under the name Neutral Paralympic Athlete (NPA)".

The Pyeongchang Paralympics will take place between March 8 to 18. The IPC also requires the Russian anti-doping agency to be fully reinstated by WADA, which is also demanding Russia accepts the investigations' findings.

The Canadian Paralympic Committee and Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport supported the IPC's decision. "It's an operational matter that will be dealt with the organising committee".

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McConnell stated that the International Olympic Committee "have not excluded any athletes, but instead have proactively invited certain Russian athletes based on areas of consideration, through the Invitation Review Panel and the confirmation of the Implementation Group", he said, adding, however, that "it is not possible to answer specific questions on individual cases".

In accordance with IPC rules, flags of a "non-participating country" are forbidden from the stands at the Paralympic Games.

We believe that this decision upholds the values of clean sport and fair play within our movement.

"We are very proud to be part of the change".

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