PyeongChang 2018: Russian Paralympic delegation registered by IPC

PyeongChang 2018: Russian Paralympic delegation registered by IPC
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has provisionally registered the delegation of Russian athletes who will compete as neutrals at next month’s PyeongChang Paralympic Games.

On Thursday, the IPC held a meeting with the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) to discuss questions regarding the national team’s participation at the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea.

During the meeting, the IPC provisionally registered a Russian delegation consisting of 78 people, including 30 athletes and seven sighted leaders. The fate of three more Russian participants will be decided later by the Paralympic governing body.

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RPC First Vice President Pavel Rozhkov, who attended the session, said that details on a number of issues had been worked out in cooperation with the IPC.

"Today during the meeting we discussed a set of issues regarding the participation of our Paralympians at the Games," Rozhkov said.

"We have agreed that due to the reduced time frame, members of the delegation will receive their accreditations upon arrival at the Paralympic Village. Final registration will be held on March 1. The first group of athletes will settle into the village on March 3. It has been also approved that athletes competing in the first day of the Games will not attend the Paralympics opening ceremony.”

In January, the IPC maintained suspension of the RPC allowing, however, clean Russian athletes who have never been implicated in doping to compete at the Games under neutral status.

"Because the reinstatement criteria have not been met in full, the IPC Governing Board approved the IPC Taskforce’s recommendation to maintain the suspension of the RPC,” IPC President Andrew Parsons said, explaining the decision to uphold the RPC’s ban.

The IPC implemented sanctions against the RPC in 2016, after Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren claimed in his notorious report that there were a total of 35 “disappeared tests” in Russian Paralympic sports over a four-year period.

Following the publication of the document, the IPC imposed a blanket ban on the Russian Paralympic squad on the eve of the 2016 Rio Summer Games, prohibiting national team members from taking part.

The Russians who will be declared eligible by the IPC will compete at the PyeongChang Games as “Neutral Paralympic Athletes.”

The IPC also banned Russian fans from waving the national tricolor at the Paralympics, following the body’s decision to keep Russia’s suspension in force. Under IPC rules, flags of a “non-participating country” are forbidden from the stands at the Paralympic Games.