IPC opens suspension proceedings on Russia

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced on Friday that they are opening proceedings against the Russian National Paralympic Committee. Following the McLaren report in to Russia’s state sponsored doping, the IPC discovered that impacted Paralympic athletes and are now opening suspension proceeding against the Russian NPC.

Following the release of that report last Monday the IPC has been thoroughly examining the over 100 page report and additional information. On Monday the IPC requested more information from the report author, Richard McLaren, who has given that additional information.

On Friday the IPC Governing Board (the highest authority in the IPC) voted to open suspension proceedings against the Russian NPC. That decision was taken due to the Russian NPC’s “apparent inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations.” According to the IPC statement on the matter.

The IPC statement continues, “in light of the prevailing doping culture endemic within Russian sport, at the very highest levels, NPC Russia appears unable or unwilling to ensure compliance with and the enforcement of the IPC’s Anti-Doping Code within its own national jurisdiction. The IPC considers this vital to ensuring athletes are able to compete on a level playing field.”

The standard suspension procedure will now be followed, with the Russian NPC being allowed the opportunity for due process. This announcement came right before the International Olympic Committee announced their decision on Russia, which was to issue no blanket ban.

One of the pieces of information given to the IPC by McLaren was the names of the athletes who had their samples ‘disappear’. That information has not been made public, understandably, but 19 samples from the Sochi Paralympics have been sent to an independent lab for testing.

The hope from the IPC is to wrap up the suspension proceedings before the start of the Rio Paralympic Games. The current schedule is for the IPC to announce the decision on or around August 1 and the Russian NPC would then have three weeks to appeal the decision, which should wrap everything up before the Rio opening ceremony.

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