The International Paralympic Committee did what the International Olympic Committee didn’t: Ban all Russian athletes from the Games. The IPC announced on Sunday that it has banned the Russian team from competing at the Paralympic Games in Rio in September because of state-sponsored doping.
The IOC, which organizes the Olympics, did not issue a blanket ban on Russians in late July. Russia’s Olympic track and field team, however, remains banned. The IPC faced the same decision as the IOC and, instead of passing the responsibility onto each nation’s federation, flat out suspended Russia’s Paralympic athletes from competing.
“This decision 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,” IPC president Sir Phillip Craven said in a statement.
The Olympics and Paralympics are separate events governed and organized by different organizations.
The IOC and IPC decisions were based off the same report provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency that revealed Russia had participated in state-sponsored doping. Many people have taken to social media to praise the IPC for today’s decision after the IOC decided against a complete ban of Russians.
The kind of decisive action you get from a body that isn't beholden to Putin. Makes the IOC look even weaker. https://t.co/Tbpxpunxqz
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) August 7, 2016
Sir Philip Craven is delivering a masterclass in ethics & transparency here. Very, very impressive. Big moment for Paralympic sport.
— Matt Slater (@mjshrimper) August 7, 2016
“Ultimately, as the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement, it is our responsibility to ensure fair competition, so that athletes can have confidence that they are competing on a level playing field,” Craven said. “This is vital to the integrity and credibility of Paralympic sport, and in order to achieve this it is fundamental that each member abides by the rules.”
The Canadian Paralympic Committee responded by supporting the IPC’s decision to ban all Russians from September’s Paralympic Games. The decision to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee was unanimous among the international governing body’s board.
The Paralympics run from Sept. 7-18 following the conclusion of August’s Olympic Games.
The decision comes after Canadian Richard McLaren released findings in a report last month investigating Russia’s doping cover-ups. The report found that 35 Paralympic athletes from Russia tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Russia’s Paralympic Committee is appealing the decision in an effort to be reinstated to the Games in September.