What is RPC? Here's what to know about Russia and the Paralympics

    Russia's team arrives during the opening ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 24, 2021. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

    (CNN)If you're watching the Paralympic Games, you may notice an unfamiliar abbreviation, RPC.

    It stands for the Russian Paralympic Committee, and it's a way of allowing Russian athletes to compete in the Paralympics while their country is banned from the Games because of one of the biggest doping scandals in sport history.
    "All public displays of the organization's participant name should use the acronym, not the full name "Russian Paralympic Committee,"
        There are some specific rules the RPC has to follow to make clear it is not representing the country of Russia.
        But first, a reminder on how Russia got here in the first place:

        Inside the Russian doping ban

          In 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency banned Russia from all international sporting competitions, including the Paralympics, for four years over doping non-compliance.
          The punishment was related to inconsistencies in data retrieved by WADA in January 2019 from the Moscow lab at the center of a 2016 report that uncovered a widespread and sophisticated state-sponsored sports doping network.
          WADA's compliance review committee suggested sanctions because the Russian Anti-Doping Agency failed to fully cooperate during probes into the country's sports.
          Last year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) cut Russia's ban in half to two years following an appeal.
          The ban now ends December 16, 2022. Until then, Russian athletes are not able to compete under their country's name, flag and national anthem at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics rescheduled to this summer.
          "On 17 December 2020, CAS found the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to be non-compliant in relation to its failure to procure that the authentic LIMS data and underlying analytical data of the former Moscow Laboratory was received by WADA," said the IPC in a statement.
          "This matter was discussed by the IPC Governing Board, and the Board resolved to recognise and give effect to the CAS decision and also to adopt revised post-reinstatement criteria for the RPC."
          RPC team members parad during the opening ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 24, 2021.

          Competing as neutral athletes

          Under the ban, Russian athletes can still compete as neutral athletes -- which means they do not technically represent a specific country -- if they can prove they had no link to the