The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) lifted the suspensions of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of India and Costa Rica on Tuesday (31 May) with the sole purpose of allowing Para athletes from the two countries to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games under their respective national flags.
The Paralympic Committee of India has been suspended since April 2015 due to conflicts at the national level between different groups and persons that was undermining the development of the Paralympic Movement in India.
However following productive meetings in Bonn, Germany, in May with representatives from the Sport Authority of India (SAI), Indian Ministry of Youth and Sport (MYAS), and the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), the IPC will now allow athletes to compete under the Indian flag at Rio 2016.
As agreed with the NPC, SAI will continue to have the authority to administer the entry of athletes and team officials for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The PCI, in consultation with SAI, may nominate team officials, including a Chef de Mission, to manage the delegation during the Games.
In parallel, the IPC will recognise the newly elected board of PCI so that work may begin to immediately implement reforms to the governance and management structure of PCI.
Costa Rican athletes will also be allowed to compete under their national flag at Rio 2016 after the country’s Ministry of Sport committed to amend the National Sports and Recreation law to include recognition of an NPC. As no NPC in Costa Rica currently fulfils the IPC’s membership requirements, the IPC has provisionally transferred the rights to manage the delegation during the Rio 2016 Games to the Costa Rican National Olympic Committee (NOC).
As part of these rights, the NOC will have the ability to enter athletes and appoint team officials, including a Chef de Mission.
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “As an athlete centred organisation, the IPC has taken this decision with the sole purpose of allowing Indian and Costa Rican athletes to compete under their respective national flags at September’s Paralympic Games.
“Both countries need to make major reforms and the IPC will continue to closely monitor the implementation and timeline of these changes. Both countries will not fully satisfy their IPC membership until the reforms we have outlined to them are completed in full.”
The NPC of Mauritania remains suspended.