Rio 2016: Putin calls Paralympic ban 'immoral'


Russian president Vladimir Putin has described the country's ban from the 2016 Paralympic Games as "immoral".

Russia was banned from competing by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on August 7 following allegations of state-sponsored doping made in an independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

An appeal against the ruling was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday, ending any hope of a Russian team competing in Rio.

"The decision to disqualify our Paralympic team is outside the law, outside morality and outside humanity," Putin said, addressing Olympic athletes returning from Brazil.

"It is simply cynical to vent one's anger on those for whom sport has become the meaning of their life... I even feel pity for those taking such decisions because they must well understand that it is so demeaning for them.

"We have witnessed how humanistic foundations of sport and Olympism can be brazenly violated by politics, how traits such as greed, and perhaps even cowardice, take precedence over the principles of Olympism."

Putin did acknowledge Russia's anti-doping shortcomings, but added: "I used to say this before...and I still believe that these international anti-doping structures ... should be rid of political pressure."

Russia's Paralympic athletes will, however, be given an alternative platform to showcase their skills.

"I want to say to our Paralympians: of course, we will support you," he explained. "We will organise special competitions where you will be able to show all your skills. Prizes for the winners will be the same as they would have been for the Paralympic Games."