Russia’s membership in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was suspended in November
The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) has launched a bid to lift the suspension of its membership in the international governing body of the IPC. RPC Chairman Pavel Rozhkov said his organization aims to reverse the trend “unequal” attitude towards the athletes of his country.
The IPC suspended the national committees of Russia and Belarus following a vote at an extraordinary general meeting in Berlin in November.
The international organization accused the RPC and its Belarusian counterpart of having “inability to comply with their membership obligations” in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine.
The suspension of membership imposed in November is widely seen as further jeopardizing the chances of Russian and Belarusian para-athletes being cleared for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.
RPC Chairman Rozhkov confirmed to TASS on Monday that his organization wants the suspension to be lifted, at least temporarily, while a broader appeal is heard.
“The decision of the IPC General Assembly not only violates the rights [of the RPC]but also the rights of the athletes… since it deprives them of the right to participate in all IPC events and clearly indicates an unequal attitude towards [Russian and Belarusian] athletes compared to para-athletes from other countries”, Rozhkov said, according to TASS.
“The RPC has filed a motion with the IPC Appeals Tribunal to impose interim measures in the form of a stay of execution of the decision of the IPC Extraordinary General Assembly, in pending consideration of an appeal from the RPC.
“If the decision remains in place pending the appeal, the athletes will miss the opportunity to compete, which will prevent them from qualifying for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games or other major events, which means that they will miss the entire Paralympic sports season”, Rojkov added.
In March, para-athletes from Russia and Belarus were banned from participating in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, after the IPC overturned an initial decision to let them compete as neutrals at the last minute.
The CPR’s current suspension of the membership of Russia and Belarus goes beyond the measures imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC recommended banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions, but the respective national Olympic committees of the two countries retained their memberships.
At an IOC summit in Switzerland earlier this month, the organization agreed to explore Asian proposals on a potential path back to competition for Russian and Belarusian athletes under neutral status.
The move is seen as a step forward in the athletes’ chances of being allowed to compete in qualifying events for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
READ MORE: Russia pledges to fight ‘discrimination’ after Paralympic suspension
Russia opposes suspension after ‘unequal’ treatment – Reuters