Winter Paralympics 2018: Russia ban maintained for Pyeongchang but neutrals can compete

The Winter Paralympics begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday, 9 March

The ban on Russia competing at the 2018 Winter Paralympics has been upheld by the International Paralympic Committee.

But Russian Para-athletes who can prove they are clean will be allowed to compete in Pyeongchang as neutrals.

Russia was banned from all Paralympic competition in August 2016 after details of state-sponsored doping.

The decision comes after only three of five key measures needed for reinstatement, set out by an independent taskforce, were met.

The IPC says it expects 30 to 35 neutrals to compete in five of the six events – alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, snowboard and wheelchair curling.

A Russian Para-ice hockey team could not be considered as the country had missed the opportunity to qualify.

The Winter Paralympics begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday, 9 March.

In December 2016, the IPC created an independent taskforce which set the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) a number of conditions to meet.

The taskforce highlighted seven key measures that needed to be met before it could recommend the reinstatement of the RPC in September – and in December said five had still not been satisfied.

On Monday, the IPC said two of those criteria have still now been met.

The two measures are:

  • The full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
  • The provision of an official response specifically and adequately addressing the findings of the McLaren report.

More to follow.

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