The taskforce formed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to handle Russia’s reinstatement is set to meet in London today to discuss the outcomes of the meeting with the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) in December-16.
Russia was suspended from all IPC-organised events, including the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-commissioned McLaren Report claimed they had manipulated the testing programme to hide doping failures by home athletes at events including the Sochi 2014 Paralympics.
This means they are also currently suspended from international competitions in all sports where the IPC also acts as the world governing body.
These include Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, snowboard, ice sledge hockey, athletics, powerlifting, shooting and swimming.
A meeting between the taskforce, chaired by British Rowing chief executive Andy Parkinson, and representatives of the RPC was held on December 20 at the IPC headquarters in Bonn, Germany, with discussion centered around the criteria Russia must meet to be reinstated.
“Today is the first formal meeting of the IPC taskforce,” IPC spokesman Craig Spence told insidethegames.
“They will be discussing the outcomes of the meeting the IPC had with the RPC in December, answers to the questions posed by the RPC regarding the reinstatement criteria and will review documentation sent to the IPC by the RPC, including a roadmap of how they plan to meet the criteria.
“Following today’s meeting the taskforce will compile an update report for the IPC Governing Board to read at its next meeting later this month in Bonn.
“After the IPC Governing Board meeting the IPC will publish a brief summary of the progress the RPC has made since it was suspended.”
An 11-page document outlining reinstatement criteria signed by IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez was published on November 21, 2016.
The criteria includes the RPC establishing a Co-ordination Committee, which will be tasked with ensuring they satisfy the conditions laid down by the IPC.
The IPC taskforce must also be provided with details of everyone who works for the RPC and whether they have had any involvement in a doping offence.
Anyone who is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation of any kind must also be sacked, the IPC said.
The IPC also said they would only consider reinstatement if a “strong anti-doping culture” was established in Russia, which has continually denied the presence of any state-sponsored scheme.
This includes being “compliant with all the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Programme (including, in particular, the World Anti-Doping Code) and the IPC Anti-Doping Code that are applicable to a National Paralympic Committee“.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revealed to TASS that it will make a decision regarding Russia’s participation at Pyeongchang 2018 following the findings of the two IOC commissions that have been formed.
Last year the IOC formed both an Inquiry Commission and Disciplinary Commission to investigate doping allegations in Russia.
“For the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, two IOC commissions have been set up to coordinate our response,” the IOC press service told TASS.
“They will respect the due process and give all sides a fair chance to be heard.
“Following this, the IOC will take all appropriate measures and sanctions.”