The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has named five international experts as part of a Taskforce assisting the IPC Governing Board in determining whether the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) has met the reinstatement criteria and underlying verification criteria it set out in November.
The taskforce will be headed by independent chairperson Andy Parkinson, the Chief Executive Officer of British Rowing, who previously served for six years in a similar position at UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). Parkinson is globally respected for his active defence of clean athletes and was the elected Chair of the Ad Hoc European Committee for WADA. He has served on a number of WADA Independent Observer Programmes and between 2003 and 2006 was the IPC’s Medical and Scientific Director.
Joining Parkinson on the IPC Taskforce are Shin Asakawa, Chief Executive of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA); Akaash Maharaj, Chief Executive of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption; Sarah Fussek, FIS Anti-Doping Co-ordinator; and Peter Van de Vliet, the IPC’s Scientific and Medical Director. Liz Riley of Bird & Bird LLP will serve as legal counsel to the IPC Taskforce.
Independent chairperson Andy Parkinson said: “I agreed with and supported the IPC’s response to the Russian situation. This next step is a vital part in the process of assisting the IPC Governing Board in determining whether the RPC has met the reinstatement criteria to allow clean Paralympians to compete again on the world stage.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Taskforce and we will conduct a thorough and robust review of all the evidence available to us and provide our independent assessment and recommendations to the IPC Governing Board.”
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “The IPC Taskforce includes five figures from around the world who are internationally respected for their work in their respective fields of anti-doping and anti-corruption.
“In the independent chairperson Andy Parkinson we have an individual who has an intimate knowledge of the Paralympic Movement and a huge breadth of experience in dealing with anti-doping matters.
“We are confident that the Taskforce will use their vast knowledge and experience to help assist the RPC in meeting the criteria in order to have its IPC membership suspension lifted.”
The IPC Taskforce will assume its responsibilities with immediate effect. The RPC will meet the IPC on 20 December in Bonn, Germany, to discuss in-depth the reinstatement criteria and underlying verification criteria.
The IPC suspended the RPC on 7 August due to its inability to fulfil its IPC membership obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is a signatory) and the IPC Anti-Doping Code.