m3n4.net
m3n4.net February 22, 2018


Russian followers banned from waving flags at PyeongChang Paralympics

31 January 2018, 06:13 | Tracey Rhodes

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Russia's Paralympic committee deputy chief Rima Batalova said the announcement was not a surprise.

IPC President Andrew Parsons said "between 30 and 35" Russian athletes are to take part as neutrals due to "significant progress" from Russia's Paralympic Committee.

The decision represents a shift from the earlier IOC ruling to allow fans at the PyeongChang Olympics to fly Russian flags, as does the absence of "Russia" in the name under which neutrals can compete - a change from the IOC's "Olympic Athlete from Russia" tag.

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Paralympic organisers said on Monday they would let some Russians compete as neutrals at the Pyeongchang Winter Games in March, but upheld a ban on Moscow fielding a national team.

"On the other hand, this attitude to the people, who prove their right to take part in the Paralympic Games by their courage and will, is blasphemy and madness". The Russian team has been barred, but 169 Russians have been invited to compete.

Beucher claimed the IPC had been influenced by external pressure to create a way in which Russian athletes can compete.

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Russian Federation was suspended by the IPC in August 2016 following revelations of widespread state-sponsored doping uncovered in a report by Richard McLaren on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

McConnell stated that the International Olympic Committee "have not excluded any athletes, but instead have proactively invited certain Russian athletes based on areas of consideration, through the Invitation Review Panel and the confirmation of the Implementation Group", he said, adding, however, that "it is not possible to answer specific questions on individual cases".

Parsons noted that there had been improvements in Russia's doping system, though not enough.

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The Paralympic Committee also took a tougher line during the Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, banning Russia entirely from the games, while the IOC permitted the global federations of individuals to choose which athletes to let in. Dozens of Russians were banned from competing at the Rio Olympics for the same reason. Russia's president Vladimir Putin in December suggested that the doping allegations against his country were created to harm his re-election chances and implied American intelligence agencies could be behind them.



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