On May 22 2017 the International Paralympic Committee held a press-conference with participation of IPC President Sir Philip Craven, IPC Taskforce Chairman Andy Parkinson, and IPC Media Director Craig Spence. The IPC provided updates regarding reinstatement of RPC membership in the IPC.
During the press-conference Sir Philip Craven, the IPC President, highlighted the steady progress the RPC has made in meeting its reinstatement criteria
Overall the IPC Governing Board a group of 15 people including six Paralympians – is generally pleased and encouraged by the co-operation and steps forward the RPC is making in various areas toward its reinstatement,” said Sir Philip.
“Working alongside the IPC Taskforce and in alignment with the agreed roadmap they have produced, the RPC is doing a good job and there are certainly some promising signs – Craven said.
“Last week’s update from the WADA Foundation Board about RUSADA potentially resuming testing as early as June is cause for optimism, and it is imperative that Para athletes are amongst those who are tested.
During Monday’s press conference, Andy Parkinson, the Independent Chair of the IPC’s Taskforce noted:
“The RPC has approached their work with significant enthusiasm, commitment and a real appetite to comply with what has been asked of them by the Taskforce,” said Parkinson.
“Since the last progress report was published in February, the RPC has worked with the Taskforce to develop a detailed roadmap for reinstatement, started improvements to its overall governance and independence, made efforts to work closely with RUSADA on future education programmes, and adopted a practical and realistic approach to its domestic and international testing pools.
“The Taskforce would like to place on record our gratitude for the hard work carried out by the RPC to date.”
As it was mentioned before starting from January 11, 2017 up to now the RPC Coordination Committee sent to the IPC Taskforce and to the IPC information, documents and requests regarding 62 roadmap paragraphs (out of 67). The fulfillment of the most part of the Criteria was confirmed during the meeting between the RPC Coordination Committee ant the IPC Taskforce during the meeting on 8-9 May,2017 in Bonn (Germany). During the press-conference speakers said that “Although we are pleased with the progress to date, a number of key criteria still need to be met”
Among the criteria there are some that are out of the RPC competence: restoration of RUSADA’s compliance to WADA Code; adequate address of Professor McLaren findings including findings regarding presence or absence of institutional and wide-ranging doping conspiracy and cover-up, etc.
The IPC taskforce addressed the Russian authorities to assist the RPC in meeting the requirements, which remain unfulfilled.
Along with the practical issues of the RPC reinstatement the statements about the need for fundamental changes in the culture of Russia and in the Russian mentality were made during the press conference These statements are very subjective and vague and they make it difficult to speak about the implementation of the Road map in terms of specific dates and specific measures.
The RPC continues to work on the implementation of the criteria of the Road map that will be considered by the IPC Governing Board in September this year, where the issue of allowing Russian athletes to participate in the XII Paralympic Winter Games in 2018 in PyeongChang will be under review.
The RPC also reports that Russian athletes continue to prepare for the XII Paralympic Winter Games in 2018 in PyeongChang.
In those sports that are not under IPC governance, the Paralympic athletes continue to compete in major international competitions. The RPC received official letters that the Russian athletes are allowed to compete from 17 International Sports Federations.
From the beginning of 2017 athletes of the Russian national teams have competed in five world championships in Paralympic sports (wheelchair tennis, cycling, wheelchair, athletics for athletes with mental impairment, table tennis) and European Championships (wheelchair tennis). Until the end of 2017,the Russian athletes will participate in 8 World Championships (rowing, badminton, cycling, canoe, archery, triathlon, taekwondo, wheelchair fencing) and 11 European championships (boccia, sitting volleyball, goalball, canoe, judo, equestrian, table tennis, wheelchair rugby, triathlon, taekwondo, football 5 a side) in Paralympic sports.