POSTED: July 22nd 2016

Paralympics: IPC opens suspension proceedings against NPC Russia

IPC President Sir Philip Craven © Getty Images
IPC President Sir Philip Craven © Getty Images

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Suspension proceedings against the National Paralympic Committee of Russia (NPC Russia) have been opened by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) following the recent publication of the Richard McLaren's "Independent Person Report" on July 18th and information the IPC received from the author of the report.

The IPC Governing Board ratified the decision to open these proceedings on July 22nd after NPC Russia displayed the inability to fulfil the obligations and responsibilities of its IPC membership. The decision was made once the IPC had fully evaluated the McLaren Report, along with additional data given to them.

"The IPC would like to sincerely thank Richard McLaren for his report which was delivered against an incredibly tight timeline and for the swift turnaround of the additional information we requested from him on Monday.  We fully support his request to continue and finalize his work," expressed IPC President, Sir Philip Craven.

With the doping culture endemic within Russia sport coming to light, it would seem that NPC Russia is unwilling or unable to enforce or ensure compliance with the IPC's Anti-Doping Code within their own national jurisdiction. The IPC believes it is critical to not only to comply but enforce this code so that it allows athletes to compete on a level playing field.

President Craven commented, "The report revealed an unimaginable scale of institutionalized doping in Russian sport that was orchestrated at the highest level.  McLaren's findings are of serious concern for everyone committed to clean and honest sport."

In addition, the IPC has been provided with Para athlete names associated with the 35 "disappearing positive samples," from the laboratory in Moscow. They are also sending off 19 samples from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games for further analysis. These samples were identified by McLaren's investigation team to have been potentially doctored.

"The additional information we have been provided with by Richard McLaren includes the names of the Para athletes associated with the 35 "disappearing positive samples" from the Moscow laboratory highlighted in the report.  We are also urgently following up on Mr. McLaren's recommendation for 19 samples from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games to be sent for further analysis, having been identified as part of the sample swapping regime in place during the Games," added President Craven.

He went on to say, "With regard to NPC Russia, we have started proceedings to consider the suspension of their membership of the IPC.  This decision was not taken lightly, but after fully evaluating the "Independent Person Report" and the additional information we have received, the IPC believes that the current environment in Russian sport - which stems from the highest levels - is such that NPC Russia appears unable to fulfil its IPC membership obligations in full...Before making a decision, NPC Russia will have an opportunity to present its case to the IPC."

The decision by the IPC experts on NPC Russia's suspension will be announced the week of August 1st. If suspended, NPC Russia will be given 21 days to file an appeal.

President Craven concluded, "In addition, the IPC is continuing to explore a host of other measures and actions in order to take the strongest possible steps to protect the integrity of Paralympic sport."

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · IPC · NPC Russia · Anti-Doping · Russian doping · Paralympics · Sochi 2014

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