Philip Craven: Russia Banned From Competing In Paralympics Due To Doping

Philip Craven: Russia Banned From Competing In Paralympics Due To Doping

The president of the International Paralympic Committee, Philip Craven, has announced that Russia will be banned from competing in the Paralympic Games which will take place Sept. 7-18. The reason Craven gave for the banning of Russia was due to the doping scandal involving the athletes from Russia. A report written by Richard McLaren for the World Anti-Doping Agency was the smoking gun that showed how much doping was going on in Russia. Philip Craven referred to McLaren’s report in his statement.

“The McLaren report marked one of the darkest days in the history of all sport. 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. The facts really do hurt. The system in Russia is broken, corrupted and entirely compromised. Their medals over morals mentality disgusts me. The Russian government has failed its athletes. It shows a blatant disregard for the health and wellbeing of athletes. Their thirst for glory at all costs has damaged all sports.”

The McLaren report was a bombshell when it was released. Sports committees across the globe called for Russia to be banned from the Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee decided to let each sports federation to make their own decision regarding athletes from Russia. The IOC also had the authority to make the decision to ban Russia from the Paralympics, but backed down, forcing Philip Craven to make the decision himself.

Craven and the IPC didn’t make their decision without giving Russia the benefit of the doubt. The IPC spoke with McLaren directly and they even went as far as to have the athlete’s test samples retested from Russia just in case some false positives had occurred. Philip Craven commented further on the IPC actions.

“We had to establish the full facts. And I cant tell you how sad we were to discover that the state-sponsored doping program extends to Russia para-sports as well. Our decision is driven on the need to hold our members accountable. (Russia) has shown it is unable to comply with our doping code within its jurisdiction. It can’t fulfill its fundamental obligations as an IPC member. We resolved to suspend Russia with immediate effect.”

In 2014, at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia brought home 37 percent of the medals awarded. Out of those medals, 41 percent were gold. It was stated in McLaren’s report that athlete’s samples from Russia were manipulated. Part of the manipulation was urine samples were given from people who were not the athletes that were competing. Due to the number of medals won by Russia, and the evidence gathered in the McLaren report, Craven and the IPC will begin the process of retesting every urine sample that they were given from the athletes from Russia.

Due to the fact that the International Olympic Committee did not do a sweeping ban of Russia from the games, 271 athletes from Russia are currently in Rio competing. So far, Russia has won five medals in Rio. They took home gold and bronze in judo, silver in archery and shooting, and bronze in fencing.

Many feel that Russia should have been banned entirely from the Olympics in Rio. It is hard to understand why the IOC backed down and passed the decision down the line.

Do you think Philip Craven and the IPC made the right decision to ban Russia from their games?

[Photo by Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo/AP, file]

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