Russia’s participation in Paralympic skiing and biathlon events at Pyeongchang 2018 could be in doubt, according to their head coach after she revealed they had missed a deadline to apply for upcoming international events.
The country’s membership of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is currently suspended in the wake of Richard McLaren’s damning report, which alleged the presence of a state-sponsored doping scheme at a number of major events, including the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven described the anti-doping system in Russia as "broken, corrupted and entirely compromised", while accusing the Russian Government of "catastrophically failing" its athletes.
The decision saw Russia miss out on competing at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last month.
Irina Gromova, head coach of the Russian skiing and biathlon team, has now claimed the country have missed a deadline to apply to compete in several international events.
The events would serve as qualifiers for the Pyeongchang 2018, raising uncertainty over their potential participation in the Games in South Korea.
"We have failed to submit applications by the requested deadline and it is hard for me to say what is coming next," she told the official Russian news agency TASS.
"However, we still understand that if the International Paralympic Committee would like to issue clearance for us, it can do it within a week before the start [of competitions]."
Earlier this month, Sir Philip allegedly fell victim to a prank phone call which was posted online, where he thought he was speaking to American Edwin Moses, the two-time 400 metre hurdles Olympic gold medallist.
Russia were specifically mentioned in reply to the prankster during the recordings, with claims that they were "not cooperating" with the IPC.
"The Russians are not cooperating at the moment," the tapes said.
"They are on the surface, they may seem as if they are, but they are not.
"We will be dealing with them, in the way we have been dealing with them ever since this thing happened, which is correctly, which is legally but we won’t be dealing with them as if they were friends."
The reply added: "From our side we will stand strong with you and with everybody else who knows that we cannot have the Russians competing again until they have adopted the right policies and that show that they are a clean nation."