Attempt from Russian Athletes to Compete Neutrally Denied

Despite three Russian appeals failing, over 175 Russian athletes made one last ditch effort to get to Rio by writing requests to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). That effort has also failed as the IPC announced that they will not allow verified clean Russian athletes to compete as neutral athletes.

The IPC released a statement stating that their position to ban all Russian athletes was vindicated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision. Their statement says that “the ineligibility of Russian athletes for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is the inevitable consequence of the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee.”

The Paralympic statement is very condemning to the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) who did not dispute the findings of the McLaren Report. The IPC state that allowing Russian athletes to compete would create an unfair playing field.

The IPC clarified that “In such circumstances, it is necessary, proportionate and lawful for the IPC to suspend the RPC’s membership rights including the right to enter athletes in the Paralympic Games until the RPC can demonstrate that it is able to enforce the IPC Anti-Doping Code effectively in Russia, without interference from the Russian Government.”

The IPC CEO, Xavier Gonzalez, was quoted in the statement as he said “The IPC has considerable sympathy for all of the Russian athletes who are now unable to participate in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Indeed, the main goal of the IPC is to enable Para athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world. Tragically, however, the Russian authorities have denied their athletes this chance through their actions.”

Russian athletes will remain ineligible for all IPC sanctioned competition until Russia is able to demonstrate that they are able to enforce the IPC Anti-Doping Code. Once that happens, the IPC will immediately lift the sanctions, per IPC regulations.

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