Mutko unhappy with IPC 'shakedown' over extra drug tests
Russia's former sports minister Vitaly Mutko has accused the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) of "a shakedown", due to the country being required to pay for extra drug-testing following their doping scandal.
The Russian team was banned from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro when an independent report - produced at the request of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) - alleged hundreds of failed drug tests had been covered up by sporting officials.
A list of conditions for Russia to return for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, was published by the IPC this week, including fees of EUR575,000 to cover "the significant costs resulting from increased testing".
Mutko - now the deputy prime minister for sports, tourism and youth policy in Russia - has made his unhappiness clear.
"This is an attempt to drag us into a long, drawn-out reinstatement process," he is quoted as saying by the TASS news agency. "Of course, this is all beyond the law and common sense.
"But now, unfortunately, this is the current reality in international sports.
"The financial issues are exaggerated, and I'd even call them a shakedown."
Mutko is also unhappy at the suggestion that his country's Paralympic officials should separate themselves from the government.
"The IPC officials think that there's no one above them but their own conscience," he added.
"What does it mean that the state shouldn't be among the management? The Paralympic movement does nothing anywhere in the world without state support."