Russia's Team Banned from Winter Paralympic Games

Erica Murray
January 31, 2018

"We have not excluded, but invited certain Russian athletes" - IOC Sports Director The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sports Director, Kit McConnell, claims Russian athletes "were not excluded, but invited" to compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics by the IOC.

"Although the (Russian Paralympic Committee) remains suspended they have made significant progress and we have to recognize this", Parsons said. "This was an orchestrated attack on the integrity of sport".

The Russians who will be allowed to compete must have undergone extra testing and a course of anti-drug education.

The IPC's decision reflects that of the International Olympic Committee that barred the Russian team from participating in the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang which run from February 8-25, but allowed 169 Russians to compete individually.

"We accept and respect the decision of the IPC regarding the ruling that Russian athletes may compete under a neutral flag", Pyeongchang 2018 said.

But Russian Para-athletes who can prove they are clean will be allowed to compete in Pyeongchang as neutrals. That number is roughly half the size of the team Russian Federation typically sends.

The team of "Neutral Paralympic Athletes" will be about half the size of the Russian team that competed in Sochi in 2014.

Olympic officials have approved individual Russian athletes to be identified by their nationality, as "Olympic athlete from Russia".

Russians had been allowed to compete as neutral athletes in some qualifying events ahead of the games before a final decision, but that came too late for Russia to qualify in hockey. Investigations commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and largely confirmed now by inquiries by both the Olympic and Paralympic committees, found that Russian sporting officials had overseen an elaborate cover-up of doping by their athletes for years, sometimes aided by the country's security services, that allowed dozens of Russian athletes to cheat, including at consecutive Olympics.

In January, the RPC provided new information to the IPC Taskforce concerning RUSADA's implementation of the reinstatement criteria, while Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov sent a letter to Parsons concerning McLaren's report.

The Russian government denies ever supporting any doping programs.

Other reports by Insurance News

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