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8 Feb, 2019 10:01

‘Suspension no longer necessary’: International Paralympic Committee votes to reinstate Russia

 ‘Suspension no longer necessary’: International Paralympic Committee votes to reinstate Russia

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has decided to conditionally reinstate the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), ending a near three-year suspension over alleged doping violations.

The decision was made Friday at an IPC Governing Board meeting in Bonn, Germany.

IPC President Andrew Parsons stressed that the ban will be fully lifted by March 15 if Russia meets certain conditions outlined by the Paralympic governing body.

READ MORE: WADA upholds reinstatement of Russian Anti-Doping Agency

The IPC Taskforce which was appointed to assess Russia’s progress said that 69 of the 70 reinstatement requirements had been successfully met, except for publicly addressing the findings of the McLaren Report.

Despite Russia’s refusal to accept the McLaren Report – which alleges state-sponsored doping – the IPC decided to reinstate Russia’s membership, emphasizing that they “need to move things forward and find a solution that protects the integrity of Para sport.”

In August 2016 the IPC suspended the RPC because it was necessary and proportionate to the situation we faced and essential to ensure clean sport,” Parsons said.

“Twenty-nine months later it is the IPC Governing Board’s firm belief that keeping the RPC suspended is no longer necessary and proportionate to the situation we now face in Russia.

During its suspension, the RPC has implemented 69 measures which provide the IPC with confidence that it is now a very different organization to the one that it was prior to Rio 2016.

READ MORE: ‘It’s about honor & dignity’: Russian athletes file $4.5mn lawsuit against McLaren

Russian Para athletes are amongst, and will continue to be, the most tested athletes in the Paralympic Movement. Under the supervision of WADA, RUSADA has effectively been rebuilt from the ground up, is back testing and is conditionally reinstated by the global body responsible for it,” Parsons added.

The RPC’s restoration will now allow Russian athletes to take part in the Olympic Games under their national flag, after they were banned from the 2016 Summer Games in Rio and required to compete as neutrals at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

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