Following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency after a three-year suspension, the International Paralympic Committee has released its reaction.
The organization is still evaluating whether the Russian Paralympic Committee has satisfied the necessary criteria to be reinstated. While Russia has faced sanctions from the IOC, which included not being allowed to compete under the Olympic flag at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, the International Paralympic Committee took a much more authoratative step of barring the entire Russian team from competing at the 2016 Summer Paralympics. They then allowed some Russian athletes to compete at the 2018 Winter Paralympics under the Paralympic flag – but not until after qualifying was completed for sled hockey.
“After a long stalemate between the Russian authorities and WADA, I am glad that this situation has moved forward,” said IPC President Andrew Parsons. “There is a lot of work that still needs to be done and RUSADA should be under no illusions that failure to comply fully with the conditions outlined by WADA will result in their swift non-compliance.”
“It is the IPC Taskforce that will assess whether WADA’s decision about RUSADA addresses two of the final three remaining reinstatement criteria related to the RPC suspension. We do not expect the IPC Taskforce to provide any recommendations to the IPC Governing Board until the criterion related to the IPC’s reimbursement costs associated with the suspension is satisfied.Once the IPC Taskforce makes its recommendations, the IPC Governing Board will convene to determine whether to lift the RPC’s suspension.”
One aspect of reinstatement will include reimbursing the amount of money the RPC owes the IPC for the cost of increased testing on Russian Para athletes and the creation of the IPC Taskforce, which is approximately €257,500 (about $304,000).
The decision process will be ongoing until WADA is granted full access to the disgraced Moscow testing lab.
“Once access is granted to the laboratory, Para athlete data must be verified and analysed by WADA with the same priority as our Olympic counterparts,” said IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson Chelsey Gotell.
“Looking forward we are keen to see the Russian Para athletes we were elected to represent return to competing and challenging for medals in IPC events. This will allow Russia to develop its Para sport programme in an environment that will not fail clean sport again.”