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Guilty Without Guilt: Punishment Without Evidence and Final Investigation

© Sputnik / Maksim Bogodvid / Go to the photo bankThe Paralympic flag and the Russian national flag. (File)
The Paralympic flag and the Russian national flag. (File) - Sputnik International
The IPC banned the entire Russian team from the Paralympic Games, basing on the WADA’s commission report headed by Richard McLaren. The report revealed that 35 positive samples, belonging to Paralympic athletes, disappeared between 2012 and 2015. However, since it was published, the report has repeatedly been criticized.

The Paralympic flag and the Russian national flag. (File) - Sputnik International
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While the IOC was very critical of the details and evidence of all the facts that were presented there, the International Paralympic Committee just took everything on faith.

Therefore, the head of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) Vladimir Lukin said that they will appeal this decision, as long as none of the athletes, which were mentioned in McLaren's report, refer to the team that goes to the Paralympics 2016.

"The vast majority of the team is absolutely clean athletes whose samples were repeatedly and in a variety of circumstances checked by foreign experts, including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the UK Anti-doping organization (UKAD), which is currently playing a major role in this scandal," Lukin told Sputnik.

"What exactly the RPC is accused of? Generally, of nothing at all. We are told that our country has established a state supported system for doping violations. The Russian Paralympic Committee is not even mentioned in the McLaren's report; however, we are accused ineffectiveness as regards of control," he continued.

A Russian flag at the Olympic village in Rio de Janeiro - Sputnik International
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Meanwhile, the doping test results are monitored by the IPC, which makes accusations against the RPC, said Lukin, adding that WADA bears full responsibility for laboratory work.

"Herewith, I can say that not a single national Paralympic committee has ever worked so attentively and intensely on the anti-doping program as the Russian one. We have 120% fulfilled everything that is required by law, and we are ready to prove it," the RPC head claimed.

"After all, the Russian Paralympic Committee has received nothing but compliments from the IPC for many months and years. Moreover, IPC President Philip Craven said that the Paralympic Games in Sochi were the best in the history of the Games, and he personally handed me the award for the excellent work," he added.

And such a sudden 180-degree turn occurred, inevitably raising the suspicion that all these developments were motivated by something obviously not connected to sport, Lukin concluded.

In such situations, civilized people look for legal, judicial decisions in the qualified arbitration court. "We do not want to succumb to emotions and continue to work, as well as the Russian Paralympic team continues to prepare for the Games in Rio. We hope that any objective assessment of the events should ensure that clean athletes actualize their legitimate human right to participate in the Rio Olympics."

"Otherwise it would be a gross violation of human rights. It would be a situation, in which an intelligent decision was made in relation to the main Olympic team of Russia, and then a diametrically opposite one was taken as regards of persons with disabilities. It turns out that disabled should be punished harder," Lukin told Sputnik.

The head of the Russian Paralympic Committee said that they will file an appeal in the arbitration and defend their point of view, which will be finally understood: "the guilty will be punished and the innocent ones won't be."

Paralympic flag. (File) - Sputnik International
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Regarding allegations that the RPC cannot currently ensure full adherence to the Anti-Doping Code, resulting in losing all membership privileges in the IPC, Vladimir Lukin said following: "The RPC was blamed in refusing to answer the following question: ‘Do we recognize the existence of a state support system for doping?' However, in order to answer it, we must use the results of the investigation, which we do insist on as a victim but not as a partner."

"As we all know, any investigation ends with judgment and final decision. Here we have the opposite situation. What comes first? First of all, they punish 270 clean athletes, who did not have any violations. Their lives are broken, and the real truth will finally be clarified later. This thing is frankly shocking me," Lukin concluded.

So far, the assumption that the doping problem exists has been only announced, and it is currently being investigated. Mr. McLaren said that his report is not completed, as he is still continuing his investigation. Therefore, the RPC constantly receives documents where all the figures and data of the report are changed every day, emphasized Vladimir Lukin. The question arises: on what basis should such a strict and categorical decision be made against Russian Paralympic athletes?

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