The battle between the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) continued on Tuesday when the RPC circulated a press release criticizing WADA yet again.
In the press release the RPC speaks about a meeting between Russian politicians and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on the 10th speaking about the 28 positive doping samples. The RPC expressed confusion with the samples, expressing concern over their athletes not receiving violation notices, “Of the 28 samples related to Paralympians, 17 Paralympic athletes have been sanctioned while 11 samples have not been confirmed. According to information received by the RPC from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, none of the 11 samples contains banned substances and the said 11 Paralympic athletes have not received any notices of violating anti-doping rules,” RPC says in the press release.
The ban that impacts Russia goes beyond the Paralympic Games, with Russian athletes also banned from all IPC sanctioned events (only certain sports are run by the IPC). In addition the RPC is also banned from meetings of the IPC and unable to vote in IPC meetings.
With all of that, it means that even should Russia meet the standards outlined by the IPC in November they still would not have a full team in PyeongChang next year. This is due to the qualifying being decided in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons which Russians have not been able to compete in at most winter sports.
Should Russia not meet their requirements by February 2018 they will not be allowed to compete in PeyongChang. This is due to the limited amount of time available for the sports to finalize their schedules in the Paralympic Games. Russia’s continued fighting with the IPC and WADA suggest that rather than solving their systematic issues Russia is more interested in arguing that the west is oppressing them, as such it does not look likely that their athletes will be competing in PeyongChang.