The International Paralympic Committee has ruled that Russia will not take part in the Rio Paralympics. IPC chief Philip Craven pulled no punches in his rebuke of what he called systemic and systematic Russian doping.
The entire Russian paralympic team was banned from competing at the upcoming Games in Rio as punishment for the country running a doping operation that polluted sports by "prioritizing medals over morals," Craven told a press conference in Rio on Sunday.
"Tragically this situation is not about athletes cheating a system, but about a state-run system that is cheating the athletes," the IPC chief said after announcing the decision.
"The doping culture," he added, "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."
Years of doping deception, including the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, were exposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency last month. It followed an investigation into doping cover-ups in Russian track and field.
WADA investigator Richard McLaren reported in July that Russia's state-backed doping had led to samples from paralympic athletes "being made" to disappear.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was barred from the Rio Olympics because of the McLaren report, said an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would be made over the IPC ruling.
The IPC's blanket ban is in stark contrast to the earlier decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow individual sports to decide if Russians can compete in the Games.
jbh/jlw (AP, dpa)