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

The decision to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee was announced by the IPC in Rio and IPC President Philip Craven said that Paralympians of Russia were part of a broken system that stems from the Russian government. It was immediately announced by Russia it would appeal against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This decision of the International Paralympic Committee followed the recent publication of the McLaren report that implicated Para-athletes of Russia in the widespread doping and cover-ups that led to the selective banning of many competitors from the Olympics.

Craven remarked the anti-doping system in Russia is broken, corrupted, and entirely compromised. The IPC President also commented the Russian Paralympic Committee is 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 cannot fulfill its fundamental obligation as an IPC member and therefore the Russian Paralympic Committee is suspended with immediate effect. Craven went on to say the Russian government has catastrophically failed its Para-athletes and added their ‘medals over morals’ mentality disgusts him. The IPC Chief also said the complete corruption of the anti-doping system is contrary to the rules and strikes at the very heart of the spirit of Paralympic sport. Craven also commented their thirst for glory at all costs has severely damaged the integrity and image of all sport, and has certainly resulted in a devastating outcome for the Russian Paralympic Committee and Para-athletes.

The IPC President remarked he had “deep sympathy” for the competitors who will miss the Paralympics but this decision was taken in the best interests of the Paralympic movement. Last month, the IPC had remarked 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 in view of the culture endemic within Russian sport at the very highest levels.

Lynne Anderson, the chief executive of the Australian Paralympic Committee, remarked the International Paralympic Committee did not have any alternative and it was a “sad day for everybody”. Previously, the Australian committee had called for Russia to be excluded from the Rio Paralympics. Lynne added the ruling is based on inability of Russia to ensure that they can commit to a clean doping situation, so from that point of view the answer was pretty straightforward.

Russian Para-athletes are some of the most successful in the world and topped the medal table in Sochi and came second after China at London 2012. The exclusion of the entire Russian contingent from the Rio 2016 Paralympics is another strong blow to the reputation of Russia as a global sporting powerhouse after dozens of Russian sportspeople were barred from Olympic competition for doping offences. The world governing body of athletics had banned the Russian track and field athletes.

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