Russia to field 30-35 athletes in Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics

ANI | Updated: Jan 29, 2018 17:04 IST

Moscow [Russia], Jan 29 (ANI): Around 30 to 35 Russian Paralympians have been allowed to compete in the Winter Paralympic Games as "neutral athletes" in five sports disciplines, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said in a statement on Monday.

According to TASS news agency, the IPC Governing Board considered the issue of restoring the status of Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) during a two-day meeting between January 26 and 27, based on the recent observations made by the IPC.

This is the first time ever since the IPC suspended Russia from participating in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics in 2016, after some of its athletes were found in doping violations.

The five sports disciplines include- alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, snowboard and curling.

Russia's membership was suspended by the IPC before the Rio Paralympics, as then IPC President Philip Craven referred Russia's winning a high number of medals as "medals over morals culture with endemic cheating."

In December, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the government will not prevent any athletes from participating at the Winter Games as individuals.

He was pleased that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Inquiry Commission chaired by Samuel Schmid "did not find any proof" that Russia was involved in a "doping conspiracy."

Due to doping violations, Russia has been stripped of 51 Olympic medals, the most of any country, four times the number of the runner-up, and more than a third of the global total.

Approximately 90 to 95 athletes are scheduled to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics from February 9 to 25. However, this is subject to any doping violations found.

The Pyeongchang Paralympics will take place between March 8 to 18. (ANI)

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