Rus­sia get Par­a­lympic warn­ing over doping

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LO N D O N : Rus­sia have been warned they will be barred from July’s World Para Athletics Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don and the 2018 Win­ter Par­a­lympics un­less “some­thing dra­mat­i­cally changes” re­gard­ing doping.

The In­ter­na­tional Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee (IPC) is­sued a blan­ket ban on all Rus­sian com­peti­tors at last year’s Rio Sum­mer Par­a­lympics.

IPC pres­i­dent Philip Craven on Mon­day said Rus­sia also faced the very real pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing ex­cluded from Lon­don this year and the Win­ter Games in Pyeongchang as well.

Rus­sia were sus­pended by the IPC in Au­gust fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions of wide­spread state-spon­sored doping un­cov­ered in a re­port by Richard McLaren on be­half of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which also saw the coun­try’s track and field team banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The IPC estab­lished a task­force to mon­i­tor and as­sist the Rus­sian Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee (RPC) in a process of re­form­ing.

But while en­cour­aged by as­pects of the RPC’s “progress“, Craven told re­porters in Lon­don: “With 291 days to go un­til Pyeongchang 2018, there is not a mo­ment to waste.

“The IPC task­force will next up­date the IPC gov­ern­ing board in Septem­ber and if the obli­ga­tions have not been fully met by then it will be very dif­fi­cult for the (Rus­sian team) to have their sus­pen­sion lifted in time to enter their ath­letes into the Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games.”

The vet­eran Bri­tish ad­min­is­tra­tor added: “Clearly, with this time­line in mind, un­less some­thing dra­matic changes in the next few weeks, the Rus­sian Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee will not be able to enter their ath­letes into the Lon­don 2017 World Para Athletics Cham­pi­onships.

The World Para Athletics Cham­pi­onships take place at Lon­don’s Olympic Sta­dium July 14-23.

But with the IPC’s dead­line for Lon­don en­tries June 9, there is lit­tle time for Rus­sia to con­vince the IPC they have met the cri­te­ria for a re­turn.

The IAAF, who gov­ern track and field, have paved the way for in­di­vid­u­ally vet­ted Rus­sians to com­pete as neu­trals.

But IPC spokesman Craig Spence ruled out a sim­i­lar ar­range­ment in Par­a­lympic com­pe­ti­tions, say­ing they could only ac­cept en­tries from mem­ber na­tions. AFP

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