Russia banned from Rio Paralympics over doping

6:17 am on 8 August 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics - The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has banned Russian athletes from the Rio 2016 Paralympics because of the widespread doping culture that it says has polluted sport in the country.

The Olympic rings on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro.

Photo: AFP

The IPC announced the decision to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee in Rio, with its president Philip Craven saying Russia's Paralympians were part of a broken system that stems from the Russian government.

Russia immediately announced it would be appealing against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The IPC decision follows the publication of the McLaren Report last month that implicated Russian Para-athletes in the widespread doping and cover-ups that led to the selective banning of many competitors from the Olympics.

While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided against a blanket ban, the IPC had no such concerns about its own Games that run from 7 to 18 September.

Mr Craven said he had "deep sympathy" for the competitors who will miss the Paralympics but that the decision was taken in the best interests of the Paralympic movement.

Last month the IPC said: "In view of the culture endemic within Russian sport at the very highest levels, NPC Russia appears unable or unwilling to ensure compliance with and the enforcement of the IPC's Anti-Doping Code within its own national jurisdiction."

Parasport is not widely followed or celebrated in Russia, a county where rights campaigners say many disabled people are marginalised by regressive social attitudes, poor infrastructure and inadequate state support.

But Russian para-athletes are some of the most successful in the world, topping the medal table in Sochi and coming second after China at London 2012.

Their exclusion from the Rio Games is yet another blow to Russia's reputation as a global sporting powerhouse after dozens of Russian sportspeople were barred from Olympic competition for doping offences.

Addressing Russia's Olympic team before they travelled to Rio last week, President Vladimir Putin said Russian sport had fallen foul of a politically motivated plot fomented by foreign rivals.

-Reuters

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