World Archery statement on IPC suspension of NPC Russia
This release is issued in response to the International Paralympic Committee’s announcement on 7 August 2016 that the Russian NPC’s membership will be suspended, thus preventing over 250 Russian athletes, including 12 archery athletes, from attending the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The delegation was expected to be one of the biggest from non-IPC managed sports at the Paralympic Games.
World Archery is the governing body for para archery.
World Archery strongly disagrees with the ban, which goes against the principles of inclusion and fair play, and considers the decision to have been taken based on a report that is unfinished and should remain ongoing until its mandate is completed, as stated by the IOC and WADA.
World Archery has discussed the ban with other affected Olympic federations.
The IPC’s decision was taken without any proper consultation with relevant federations responsible for the sports at the Paralympic Games, and against the best interests of federations.
World Archery is disappointed that the IPC did not clarify which were the three summer Paralympic sports that were implicated in the McLaren Report, as it puts the image of World Archery and other summer sports into question.
World Archery received written confirmation from the IPC on 26 July that no archery athletes were implicated in the McLaren Report, making the blanket ban excluding of clean athletes, inappropriate and unfair.
Ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board tasked its international federations with assessing the eligibility of Russian athletes against clear criteria, including whether they had been tested internationally and had no previous doping sanctions.
The decision allowed clean athletes from Russia to participate in the Olympic Games, protecting the integrity of the Games and separating political or institutional wrong-doing from elite sporting performance.
A blanket ban on Russian athletes at the Paralympic Games does the opposite.
It impairs clean impaired athletes for a second time when compared to their Olympic counterparts, for political reasons rather than sporting, and goes against the Paralympic Movement’s principle of inclusion.
World Archery will do its best to protect the rights of clean athletes from Russia, and will investigate available next steps.
A World Archery Executive Board meeting is scheduled on 8 August. The Executive Board will now also discuss the implications of the IPC’s decision.