The RPC have received reinstatement criteria from the IPC ©RPC

A five-member taskforce will be appointed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to oversee the reinstatement of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), it was announced today after the governing body revealed an extensive set of criteria the organisation must adhere to in order to have its suspension revoked.

This includes a rule which states they must show they can carry out anti-doping activities "without external interference".

"As part of this, the RPC will need to adequately address the findings of the McLaren Report," the IPC said in a statement.

The IPC have not, however, given the RPC a timeline by which the changes must be implemented.

The worldwide governing body has invited the RPC to a meeting to "go through the reinstatement criteria in full to ensure there is a comprehensive understanding of what is required".

Russia was 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.

As a result, all Russian athletes were banned by the IPC from competing at Rio 2016.

The RPC, who had initially criticised the IPC for not telling them exactly what they needed to do to be granted a return to international competition, have been given several strict rules by the worldwide governing body.

They have been ordered to meet reinstatement and verification criteria, which have been produced following consultation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The criteria includes the RPC establishing a Coordination Committee, which will be tasked with ensuring they satisfy the conditions laid down by the IPC.

IPC President Sir Philip Craven has revealed he has invited the RPC to a meeting to fully explain the criteria ©Getty Images
IPC President Sir Philip Craven has revealed he has invited the RPC to a meeting to fully explain the criteria ©Getty Images

The IPC taskforce, due to be chaired by an independent person, must also be provided with details of everyone who works for the RPC and whether they have had any involvement in a doping offence.

Anyone who is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation of any kind must be sacked, the IPC said.

Following the accusations of state-sponsored doping in the McLaren Report, the second part of which is due to be released in London on December 9, the RPC will not be able to appoint any Government official to a role within the organisation.

Under the "testing and results management" criteria, the RPC have been urged to provide the IPC taskforce with a list of Russian athletes who they would wish to put forward to take part in international competition should their reinstatement efforts be successful "by no later than December 15".

The IPC will include certain athletes from this list in the International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP).

Athletes will only be able to compete in international competitions if they have been part of testing pools at international, national and federation level for six months prior to the start of the event they wish to take part in.

They must also have been tested twice during this period.

In a wide-ranging statement, the IPC said they would only consider reinstatement if a "strong anti-doping culture" was established in Russia, which has continually denied the presence of any state-sponsored scheme.

This includes being "compliant with all the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Programme (including, in particular, the World Anti-Doping Code) and the IPC Anti-Doping Code that are applicable to a National Paralympic Committee".

Russia held an alternative Paralympic event for those who were banned from Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Russia held an alternative Paralympic event for those who were banned from Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"The aim of the reinstatement criteria and the IPC taskforce is to assist the RPC as much as we can in bringing about the significant practical and cultural changes that are required in order for it to fulfil its IPC membership obligations in full," Sir Philip said.

"Although there is no timeline for the RPC to implement the changes required, we want to work closely with them in order to bring about the necessary changes sooner, rather than later.

"The RPC is an important part of the Paralympic Movement and its athletes want to be competing against the world’s best athletes on the international stage. 

"With the RPC’s full co-operation and transparency, we will immediately lift its suspension once we are confident that all reinstatement criteria and verification criteria have been, and will continue to be, met in full."

Honorary International Olympic Committee member Vitaly Smirnov insisted Russia had "never had a state-sponsored doping system" during a progress update on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) bid for recompliance at the WADA Foundation Board meeting here yesterday.

Smirnov, appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to run a commission to investigate the claims, also said they would "never agree with the collective responsibility sanctions" given to the country - a direct criticism of the actions taken by the IPC prior to Rio 2016.

The IPC ban, which withstood an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, has been fiercely criticised in Russia by figures from President Putin downwards.