LONDON (AP) — Russia faces the strong possibility of being excluded from a second Paralympics over its state-sponsored doping scheme.
The International Paralympic Committee said on Monday it remains unconvinced Russia has adopted a new anti-doping culture and implemented the changes required to prove it is cleaning up in time for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang.
The Russian Paralympic Committee claims it has fulfilled 62 of 67 criteria on the IPC reinstatement plan. But the IPC said if Russia "does not meet its obligations in full by early September then there is a strong chance" of the team missing out on South Korea.
"This is not quite a final warning, but it is saying we are running out of time fast," IPC President Philip Craven said. "With each day that passes there's time to sort this one out."
The IPC remains concerned about Russia's "closed" cities where many athletes train but that limit access to drug testers, a matter in the control of the government rather than the Paralympic organization in Russia.
"Ultimately, Russia has to restore confidence in the wider sporting world," Craven said. "The RPC and Russian authorities need to build trust in their actions and prove to us all that from now on sport really is about morals over medals and not the other way round."
Russia remains critical of the IPC's demands that it must demonstrate a change of culture and mentality in a country that denies there was a state-orchestrated doping operation.
"Such statements are of an extremely subjective and vague nature," the Russian Paralympic Committee said, "and make it extremely hard to discuss the road map in terms of concrete dates and measures."