The RPC Athletes Commission took place at the headquarters of the Russian Paralympic Committee in Moscow.
The meeting was chaired by 13-times Paralympic champion, RPC Vice-President, State Duma Deputy Rima Batalova.
Participants of the meeting:
· Mikhail Terentyev (Nordic skiing) – State Duma Deputy, Paralympic champion
· Sergey Shilov (Nordic skiing) – 6-times Paralympic champion
· Andrey Strokin (Swimming) – 5-times Paralympic champion, RPC Secretary General
· Olga Semenova (Athletics) – 3-times Paralympic champion, Secretary General of Russian Federation of Sport for Persons with Physical Impairment,
· Dmitry Grigoryev (Swimming) – Paralympic Games medalist
· Tatyana Sevostyanova (Judo) – Paralympic Games medalist
· Vadim Selyukin (Sledge Hockey) – Paralympic Games medalist
· Alexander Shevchenko (Wheelchair Curling) - Paralympic Games medalist
During the opening speech Rima Batalova underlined the difficulty of the problems was faced our Paralympians. She said that the main goal of the meeting is to discuss ways out of the existing situation, to tell about what have been done, what we are currently doing, and what we going to do in future.
Athletes again spoke about unfair IPC decision of suspension of Russian NPC membership, non-admission of blanket ban, the importance more close work with the RPC regarding the subject. They supported the RPC decision to continue preparation of athletes toward Paralympic Games, fulfilment of reinstatement criteria, cooperation with international federations, with Independent Public Anti-doping Commission chaired by Vitaly Smirnov. They noted that there were no any state-sponsored doping scheme in Russia.
The Commission suggested to increase the number of its membership and involve more athletes, representatives of all sports, improve the information provision of the athletes regarding the membership reinstatement, work on broaden international cooperation and organize more international competition in Russia.
In conclusion Rima Batalova saud:
The situation for all Russian para athletes is not easy. You must on no condition give up. We need to keep an equal mind and patience, come together, and try to do our best. We will use every bit of leverage and do all we can in order to allow out athlete to compete on international level including Paralympic Games in Korea. I would like all our athlete have opportunity to be on a podium, defend the honor of our country internationally, look at the rising Russian flag and listen to the anthem.