Rio 2016: Medvedev lashes out at Russia ban


Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) decision to ban Russian athletes from Rio 2016 is "motivated by desire to remove strong rivals".

The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) was banned from all IPC competitions on August 7 following revelations of state-sponsored doping in two independent reports commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Russia appealed against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the RPC's claim was dismissed on Tuesday, meaning no athletes from the country will compete at the Paralympic Games in Rio.

The decision has unsurprisingly angered Medvedev, the Prime Minister labelling it "cynical" and an "attack" on Russian sport due to their previous successes.

"The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro have ended, our athletes have, in difficult conditions, protected the honour of the country and shown excellent results," he posted on Facebook.

"But attacks on Russian sport continue today, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the claim of our Paralympic Committee. 

"Russian Paralympic athletes are not allowed to compete in Rio. This is a doubly cynical decision, since we are talking about people who overcome themselves daily. 

"This is a blow to all persons with disabilities, not only Russia. 

"In this decision, the desire of some leaders of the international Paralympic movement to eliminate the strong competitors is clearly visible, because our team has always won the highest places."

And Medvedev also rejected claims of 'state-sponsored doping' within Russia, suggesting federations had little involvement in decision making.

He added: "Doping is, unfortunately, used in all countries and in almost all sports. 

"Ultimately, the use of performance-enhancing drugs is down to athletes, doctors and trainers. Not federations, a state body or other persons.

"The notorious state system of doping? Today, it is impossible in principle."