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Olympics: Russian team booted from Paralympics


RIO DE JANEIRO 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.

The worldwide committee said it will begin working with the global sporting federations to figure out how the 267 slots that had been allotted to Russian Paralympic athletes across 18 sports will be redistributed to other nations.

While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided against a blanket ban, the IPC had no such concerns about its own Games that run from September 7-18.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the ruling violated the human rights of Russia's Paralympians.

Olympics: Russian team booted from Paralympics
Olympics: Russian team booted from Paralympics

The Russian Paralympic team will appeal the ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The IPC's decision to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee will please the many anti-doping experts and athletes' groups that wanted sport to send a much clearer message to Russia, and other rogue states, on the importance of clean sport.

"I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed its Para athletes", said Craven.

While the International Olympic Committee had to act quickly after the McLaren report was released on July 18 because the Rio Olympics was so close, Craven said the IPC had sought more information. "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".

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Parasport is not widely followed or celebrated in Russian Federation, a country where rights campaigners say many disabled people are marginalised by regressive social attitudes, poor infrastructure and inadequate state support.

The IPC has strongly condemned Russia's years of doping deception, including the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, that were exposed by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren last month.

The move was punishment for the country running a doping operation that polluted sports by prioritizing "medals over morals", according to the IPC.

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

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Russia's Aleksey Chuvashev who competed in the rowing competition, checks his prosthesis after it was fixed by a technician at Ottobock Technical Service at the Paralympics Village, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in London. "The doping culture that is polluting Russian sport stems from the Russian government and has now been uncovered in not one, but two independent reports commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency".

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said of the IPC decision: "They are very different issues; the IPC is autonomous".

In the International Olympic Committee case "you had a corrupt IAAF (athletics federation) at the top and a corrupt national federation" while "they (IPC) only have one national federation; they have to take a blanket decision".

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