Paralympic decision on Russia by end of the year
PARIS (AP) — A decision on whether Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the Pyeongchang Paralympics is expected by the end of the year.
International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons, speaking during a visit to Paris, said Friday that the IPC task force will meet in December following a meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s foundation board.
“I can’t speculate at this time what the outcome would be,” Parsons said on a conference call.
Russia’s Paralympic team was barred from last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics as punishment for a state-backed doping program.
Parsons was elected president of the IPC in September, replacing Philip Craven, who led the organization for 16 years. Parsons is in Paris on a two-day visit to meet leaders of the 2024 Paris Olympics as well as Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Minister of Sport Laura Flessel and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Noting that the promotion of the 2018 Paralympics had been “poor” so far, Parsons said he does not foresee the same problems with Paris.
Parsons praised Paris’ plans for 2024, saying the strong involvement of both the “public and private sectors” is an assurance of reliability.
“Mobility is important for the Paris mayor,” Parsons said. “French authorities are interested in a very good level of competition, but also the legacy the games can bring to Paris.”
Accessibility for people with disabilities to the Paris subway and other landmarks of the capital city is still far from optimal, but Parsons said he is confident it can be improved by 2024.
“In any city in the world there is always room for improvement when it comes to accessibility,” Parsons said.