09:35 GMT23 April 2021
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    The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has banned the Russian team from the Paralympics 2016 in Rio. According to sports officials, the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) cannot fully comply with the anti-doping code.

    This once again brings up the question of collective responsibility, contrary to the Olympic Charter, which does not allow discrimination of anyone on any grounds.

    According to the head of the IPC, Philip Craven, the anti-doping system in Russia is "broken, corrupted and entirely compromised." He explained that the decision was associated with a report of the World Anti-Doping Agency's Independent Commission directed by Richard McLaren.

    At the same time, a representative of the IPC said that the RPC would still be able to provide arguments in its defense. To file an appeal, the Russians have three weeks.

    The head of IPC also admitted that the results of the Paralympic Games 2014 in Sochi could be reviewed.

    Politicized Decision

    Member of the IPC Athletes Council, Paralympic champion, Deputy of the State Duma and member of the RPC's Executive Committee Mikhail Terentyev said that the decision of the IPC was politicized, because it did not rely on facts.

    "Why such a decision may be taken in this lack of evidence and without an investigation? It is very sad for the development of the international paralympic movement," Terentyev outraged.

    Absurd Decision Will Be Appealed

    Head of the RPC Vladimir Lukin said that the "absurd" decision of the IPC will be appealed in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. All the necessary documents will be ready in no time, according to him.

    Head of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov suggested that the IPC made this decision being unable to withstand political pressure.

    "This decision is inhuman and deeply unjust. If the International Olympic Committee has built its decision in line with the legal logic, eliminating collective responsibility and the presumption of guilt, the Paralympic committee did exactly the opposite," stated the head of the Presidential Council on Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov.

    Russian Federal Chamber of Lawyers promised to provide Russian Paralympians with a qualified legal assistance. The organization is already working with the RPC.

    Ignoble and Mean Act

    Russian Civic Chamber called the decision of non-admission an ignoble and mean act of "the theater of the absurd decisions."

    "The decision to ban the whole Russian Paralympic team to the Paralympic Games impresses with its baseness and inhumanity. This is a betrayal of the highest human rights' standards, which form the basis of the modern world," claimed Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

    Russian professional boxer in the heavyweight division and Duma deputy Nikolai Valuev called for the WADA's disembodiment, as well as for the reform of the whole field of doping control system.

    WADA and Ukrainians Are Happy Though

    However, there are those who responded positively to the Russian Paralympic team's removal. WADA endorsed the decision in its statement.

    "This is done in the interest of the ‘clean' athletes and ‘purity' of the sports movement," the anti-doping agency's message read.

    Minister of Sports for Ukraine Ihor Zhdanov also stated that he considered the decision to suspend Russian Paralympic athletes in Rio a "fair and correct" act. He hinted that now the Ukrainian athletes could win a larger number of awards.


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    doping scandal, doping, paralympic games, Rio Olympics, Paralympics 2016, WADA, Russian Paralympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, IPC, Maria Zakharova, Mikhail Fedotov, Alexander Zhukov, Vladimir Lukin, Philip Craven, Richard McLaren, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Russia
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