The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Sunday confirmed a blanket ban on Russia from competing at the 2016 Games. The decision was taken following a recommendation from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban Russia’s Paralympics team from the event. The Paralympic Games begin from September 7 and stretch till September 18 at Rio.
The ruling comes despite the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) not totally banning Russia from the 2016 Rio Summer Games. “When the governing board reconvened on Friday, it was unanimous in its verdict. It is strongly of the view that the Russian Paralympic Committee is currently unable to ensure compliance with and the enforcement of the IPC’s Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code within its own national jurisdiction,” IPC president Philip Craven said in a statement on Sunday. “Therefore, it cannot fulfil its fundamental obligations as an IPC member and, as a result, the IPC Governing Board has resolved to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee with immediate effect.”
“This means that the Russian Paralympic Committee loses all rights and privileges of IPC membership. This includes not being able to enter Para athletes into competitions sanctioned by the IPC, and being unable to participate in IPC activities,” he added.
“Consequently, the Russian Paralympic Committee will not be able to enter its athletes into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.” The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had asked the IOC to ban Russia after the release of the Canadian Lawyer Richard McLaren’s report, but each individual sporting federation was given the power to decide if Russian athletes could compete.
“The Russian Paralympic Committee was informed of our decision earlier on Sunday. It is a decision that has placed a huge burden upon all our shoulders, but it’s a decision we’ve had to take in the best interests of the Paralympic Movement,” Craven said.
The IPC initially opened provisional suspension proceedings against Russia’s Paralympic committee in July, after McLaren’s report claimed there were a total of 35 “disappeared tests” in disability sports over a four-year period.
After further consultation with McLaren, the IPC board has decided to impose a suspension that will remain in force during the Paralympics.