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IPC sets rules for Russia reinstatement after Paralympic ban

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Russian para-athletes banned after doping scandal

The Russia Paralympic Committee (RPC) must show it can carry out anti-doping activities “without external interference” in order to be reinstated into competitions.

Russian para-athletes were banned from Rio 2016 by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) after the country’s doping scandal.

The IPC has worked with the World Anti-Doping Agency to set the new criteria.

A taskforce will also be brought in to work with the RPC.

The reinstatement criteria also states Russia will need to adequately address the findings of the McLaren Report, while the participation of para-athletes must not jeopardise the integrity of IPC-sanctioned competitions.

A number of verification conditions must also be met, including the establishment of a “strong, anti-doping culture”.

Why was Russia banned?

Canadian law professor Richard McLaren’s report following allegations of state-sponsored doping on behalf of Wada found Russia’s sports ministry manipulated urine samples provided by its athletes between 2011 and 2015.

The report identified 27 samples relating to eight para-sports, five of which are summer sports, including some governed by the IPC.

The IPC has also found evidence that samples were swapped during the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games and it planned to analyse every Russian sample from Sochi again.

The IPC allowed the Russian Paralympic Committee to present its case before it decided on the ban, which was imposed a month before the Games.

Russia failed to get the suspension overturned on appeal.

Why was Russia allowed to compete at the Olympics?

In contrast to the IPC, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose not to hand Russia a blanket ban from the Olympic Games.

Instead, each individual sporting federation was given the power to decide if Russian competitors were allowed to compete. A three-person IOC panel then had the final say.

The IOC was widely criticised for ignoring the Wada recommendation for a complete ban.

More than 270 Russian athletes were cleared to compete at the Olympics, with Russia winning 56 medals in total and finishing in fourth place in the medal table.

What impact did it have on the Paralympics?

Russia had been set to take 267 competitors across 18 sports to the Paralympics in Rio.

The team finished second in the medal table at London 2012 – behind China but ahead of Great Britain in third – with 36 golds, 38 silvers and 28 bronze medals.

In Rio, China once again topped the standings with Britain in second and Ukraine in third.

Following the ban, Russia held a three-day competition in Moscow described as the “alternative Paralympics”.