International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Sir Philip Craven has issued Russia with a stinging rebuke and confirmed that none of their athletes will be allowed to compete at this month’s Paralympic Games in Rio.
Craven said the IPC had sanctioned the blanket ban on all of the country’s competitors that their Olympic counterparts shied away from because “the anti-doping system in Russia is broken, corrupted and entirely compromised”.
He added: “The Russian Paralympic Committee are unable to ensure compliance with and enforcement of the IPC anti-doping code and the world anti-doping code within their own national jurisdiction and they can not fulfil its fundamental obligation as an IPC member.
“As a result, the Russian Paralympic Committee is suspended with immediate effect.”
The IPC’s uncompromising stance is likely to raise further questions for the International Olympic Committee as to why they refused to impose a similar ban in Brazil, where the Games got underway last week.
Instead the IOC passed the decision onto the governing bodies of each sport, and then hastily convened a three-man panel to make the final call. It has meant that some sports in Rio feature Russians while others do not.
The British Paralympic Association welcomed the IPC’s stance, saying: “While we have real sympathy for those individual Russian Paralympians not going to Rio who train and compete clean, it is crucial for the integrity of our sport that those involved as well as the public feel confident that all necessary measures are in place to tackle doping and the playing field is level.”