Russian Para Athletes to Participate in PyeongChang

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Russian Para Athletes to Participate in PyeongChang

The report, which was published in July 2016, claimed Russian Federation operated a state-sponsored doping programme across both the summer and winter Olympic Games.

The IPC decides to keep the Russian Paralympic Committee suspended but will allow eligible Russian Para athletes to compete as neutrals in PyeongChang.

WADA said it learned on January 19, less than a month before the start of the Pyeongchang Games, that the bottles could be susceptible to manual opening upon freezing of a sample. According to guidelines posted to the IOC website on January 27, Russian athletes may not display the Russian country code "RUS" on their competition or team uniforms and must use the abbreviation "OAR" (short for "Olympic athlete from Russia') instead".

The Russian team were not able to qualify in ice hockey due to the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), while there were not any available slots in Nordic skiing. The country was also excluded from the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics in 2016.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said it will let Russian athletes who met "strict conditions" compete in five sports as neutrals, as a recognition of Russian efforts to revamp its anti-doping operation.

The team of "Neutral Paralympic Athletes" will be about half the size of the Russian team that competed in Sochi in 2014.

The Russians who will be allowed to compete must have undergone extra testing and a course of anti-drug education.

"Although the Russian Paralympic Committee remains suspended they have made significant progress and we have to recognize this", IPC President Andrew Parsons said in a statement. "We have also witnessed behavioral and cultural changes".

The IPC estimates that between 30 and 35 neutral athletes will take part at PyeongChang 2018 in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, snowboard and wheelchair curling.

Para athletes and officials implicated by anti-doping investigations and reports are prohibited from taking part in the Games.

The Russian government denies ever supporting any doping programs.

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