Russia’s ban from Paralympic competition should continue because the country has still not got to grips with its state-sponsored doping problem, an International Paralympic Committee report has said.
A report from the IPC taskforce working with the Russian Paralympic Committee said that there had been “little material progress to date” in addressing the findings in World Anti-Doping Agency
investigator Richard McLaren’s report, which detailed institutionalised drug use and cover-ups in Russia.
Russia was banned from last September’s Rio Paralympics following the revelations of systematic doping, and the taskforce on Monday unanimously recommended that the suspension remain in place.
The report emphasised the taskforce was “concerned” at Russia’s lack of decisive action, with the Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 13 months away.
Taskforce chairman Andy Parkinson, the chief executive of British Rowing, said in the report: “The IPC taskforce considers that Professor McLaren’s findings must be specifically addressed, whether by acknowledging the findings and tackling the problems, or by properly rebutting the findings.
“In particular, unless and until the problems that led to the RPC’s suspension are fully understood and addressed, the IPC taskforce is of the view that there can be no meaningful change in culture, and that Russian Para athletes cannot return to IPC sanctioned competitions without jeopardising the integrity of those competitions.”
Parkinson did report “various positive developments” since the taskforce started its work, including the establishment of a “positive working relationship and dialogue” with the RPC.
The report said the two organisations are working “to establish an effective short-term testing programme for Russian Para athletes”.
Athletics’ world governing body the IAAF earlier this month voted to maintain Russia’s suspension from international competition.