Paralympics chiefs took the step that the International Olympic Committee shied away from on Sunday — banning the entire Russian team from competing in Rio.
The International Paralympic Committee announced at a news conference that Russia would be kicked out of its Games, which will run after the conclusion of the Olympics, from Sept. 7-18.
The IPC acted in the wake of a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and written by Richard McLaren regarding a staggering level of state-sponsored, organized doping across the Russian sports system.
“The McLaren report marked one of the darkest days in the history of all sport,” IPC president Sir Philip Craven said. “The actions were a body blow to clean, fair, honest sport. The Russia state-run program of cheating questioned the integrity and credibility of sport as we know it.”
While several national sports committees and anti-doping officials called for Russia to be tossed out of the Olympics following the McLaren report, the IOC backed down from that option, instead leaving it up to each individual sport federation to decide whether to allow Russian athletes.
As a result Russia still has one of the largest delegations at the Games, with 271 athletes in Rio.
Craven and the IPC were prepared to act far more strongly — and Craven’s comments against the Russian system pulled no punches.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Martin Rogers