International Paralympic Committee to lift Russia ban
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has decided to conditionally lift the suspension of Russian Para-athletes by March 15.
A ban was imposed by the IPC in 2016 after the McLaren report found Russia guilty of operating a state-sponsored doping programme.
The IPC on Friday revealed that the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) has met all but one of the 70 criteria outlined in November 2016 in order to be reinstated.
An IPC Taskforce stated that the only outstanding provision to be met is the RPC not adequately addressing the findings made by Professor Richard McLaren, but the ban is set to be lifted next month, albeit under strict conditions.
IPC president Andrew Parsons said: "In August 2016 the IPC suspended the RPC because it was necessary and proportionate to the situation we faced and essential to ensure clean sport.
"Twenty-nine months later it is the IPC Governing Board's firm belief that keeping the RPC suspended is no longer necessary and proportionate to the situation we now face in Russia.
"During its suspension, the RPC has implemented 69 measures which provide the IPC with confidence that it is now a very different organisation to the one that it was prior to Rio 2016. Russian Para athletes are amongst, and will continue to be, the most tested athletes in the Paralympic Movement.
"Under the supervision of WADA, RUSADA has effectively been rebuilt from the ground up, is back testing and is conditionally reinstated by the global body responsible for it.
"With these factors in mind, maintaining the RPC's suspension on the grounds of Russia's continuing refusal to not accept the McLaren Report does not seem right.
"We need to move things forward and find a solution that protects the integrity of Para sport, acknowledges the significant reforms made by the RPC, and enables the RPC to comply with its membership obligations."
The IPC is to outline post-reinstatement criteria which Russia must meet between now and when the ban is formally lifted.