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RIA NEWS: RPC President Hopes that Russian athletes will be allowed to qulify for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

26 December 2022
RPC  head Rozhkov hopes for common sense and admission of Russians to qualify for Paralympics 2024

MOSCOW, Dec 26 - RIA Novosti, Pavel Rozhkov, President of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), told RIA Novosti that an appeal to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) arbitration tribunal against the decision to suspend membership in the organization and an application to temporarily lift sanctions against athletes are motivated by hope for the IPC common sense and admission of athletes to qualification for the Paralympics 2024 in Paris.

The IPC suspended the RPC from membership at an extraordinary general assembly on 16 November. In early March, due to the situation in Ukraine, the IPC decided not to allow Russians to participate in the Beijing Paralympics. The IPC had previously suspended the RPC from membership in August 2016 following a doping scandal in Russian sport. In 2019, the IPC conditionally reinstated the membership of the RPC and imposed a number of requirements that the RPC must meet. As a consequence of that decision, the Russians performed at the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

"Our appeal is caused by the fact that the IPC arbitration tribunal was established only this year in accordance with the new IPC statutes. It is a new structure, completely different to the one that was in place at the Beijing Paralympic Games. We studied all the documents and understood that according to the IPC Statutes this is the only possibility for us to protest (against the suspension of our membership). They got our documents and now we are waiting for the date of the hearing. It is difficult to say when, but I can only assume that it will not be earlier than April or May. And we also asked the Arbitration Tribunal to suspend all sanctions against us," Rozhkov said.

Along with the RPC, three athletes - swimmer Dmitry Grigoryev, track and field athletes Elena Gorlova and Alexander Kostin - filed an appeal on the issue.

"After all, if our athletes do not take part in qualifying starts, they will not qualify for the Paralympics. Even if we then win the court. Dmitry, Elena and Alexander are the brightest representatives of our Paralympic community. I would like to point out that, with the support of the national government and Ministry of Sport, our guys continue to prepare for the Games in Paris. We hope that common sense will nevertheless prevail, and that the athletes will be allowed to take part in the qualifiers for the Games in one form or another. Because we have not been accused by the IPC that we have violated any statutory provisions of the IPC. There were only political statements on the part of the IPC", - stressed the Head of the RPC.

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