Russia Paralympics ban to be lifted

    An International Paralympic Committee ban on Russian athletes will be lifted.

    Story highlights

    • IPC conditionally ends Russia athlete ban
    • Ban has been in place since 2016

    (CNN)A ban on Russian athletes competing in the Paralympics will be lifted provisionally next month, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said Friday.

    The ban has been in place since 2016 when the bombshell McLaren Report, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), found that Russia had operated a state-sponsored doping program.
      Russian para athletes were unable to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, while those who could prove they were clean were permitted to compete under a neutral flag at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.
      IPC President Andrew Parsons said the body's governing board believes the suspension "is no longer necessary and proportionate."
      The RPC had implemented 69 out of 70 reinstatement measures requested by the IPC to prove it is "now a very different organization to the one that it was prior to Rio 2016," Parsons continued.
      The measures included implementing a robust testing program of Russian athletes under the close supervision of WADA and reforms that mean no government official can be appointed to any role within the RPC.
      The RPC's unwillingness to accept the McLaren report was the only measure which received an unsatisfactory response.
      Parsons said the board had to decide between waiting for "a very unlikely Russian response" to the McLaren Report -- which would continue the suspension of Russian para athletes -- or "find another way forward" to ensure the RPC's compliance with the IPC.
      "The Board chose the latter and decided to lift the suspension under strict conditions," he said.
      Parsons acknowledged that some para athletes may disagree with the IPC's decision but emphasized the stringent rules the RPC must observe to maintain its provisional reinstatement.
      These include allowing all relevant bodies to carry out anti-doping activities in Russia without interference, while the RPC must provide progress reports every six months.
        The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) chose to uphold its ban on Russian athletes late last year.
        However, WADA declared Russia as compliant with the anti-doping code in September.