Published: Thu, February 01, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Paralympics: Russia banned from 2018 Paralympics for doping program

Paralympics: Russia banned from 2018 Paralympics for doping program

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.

"Although the RPC remains suspended they have made significant progress and we have to recognise this", said IPC president Andrew Parsons.

"In the summer of 2016 the anti-doping system in Russian Federation was found to be totally compromised, corrupted and open to abuse", IPC President Andrew Parsons said. There will be also no Russian flag permitted at any venue during the Paralympics.

However, the IPC will allow Russian Para athletes, who meet strict conditions, to compete in five sports as neutrals at the Games which get under way in March.

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Parsons told RT that the rule doesn't relate exclusively to Russian Federation. It added that those who take part in the PyeongChang Paralymic Games will do so in "an NPA uniform that has no national identification that relates to Russian Federation".

Para athletes and officials implicated by anti-doping investigations and reports are prohibited from taking part in the Games.

"In making this decision therefore, the IPC has done everything within its power to give clean Russian athletes the opportunity to qualify for Pyeongchang 2018".

"Our taskforce will work with the neutral delegates to ensure that the competing athletes at both Games receive the same support as all other athletes to ensure they have the best Games experience possible".

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"All previous statements made before the new election of the IPC Board in Abu Dhabi, allow a start of athletes from Russian Federation only if the requirements of the Governing Board based on the McLaren Report are met".

Russia is required to meet two criteria for restoring IPC membership, according to the body's statement, namely addressing the findings made by the McLaren report, as well as full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Since then, there has been enough improvement to justify allowing Russians to compete as neutral athletes after extra drug testing, Parsons said.

"At the time we took measures that were necessary and proportionate to the situation we faced, and that were essential to ensure clean sport".

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