Russia banned from Paralympics over state-backed doping

Mon Aug 8, 2016 12:50am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Jack Stubbs

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Russia was barred from taking part in next month's Rio Paralympics on Sunday, with organizers blasting a "medals over morals mentality" as they announced the blanket ban over state-backed doping that Olympics bosses avoided.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Philip Craven said Russia's Paralympians were part of a broken system overseen by the Russian government and suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee ahead of the Sept. 7-18 Games.

Russia immediately said it would appeal and condemned the move as violating the human rights of its athletes.

"Tragically this situation is not about athletes cheating a system, but about a state-run system that is cheating the athletes," Craven told reporters.

"I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed its para-athletes. Their medals over morals mentality disgusts me."

The IPC decision follows revelations of widespread cheating in Russian sport which ignited a doping scandal that has threatened to split the Olympic movement and cost dozens of Russian sportspeople their place at the Rio Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stopped short of banning all Russian sportspeople from Rio and said on Sunday 278 of the original 387-strong Russian team would be able to compete after being cleared by their individual sports federations.

IOC President Thomas Bach had described a blanket ban as a "nuclear option" in which innocent athletes would be "collateral damage".   Continued...

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Philip Craven speaks during a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil August 7, 2016 in this still image taken from video.  REUTERS/via Reuters TV