Rio 2016: Russia ban can drive change, but not cause to celebrate - IPC president


Philip Craven, the president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), hopes the upholding of Russia's ban from the 2016 Paralympic Games "acts as a catalyst for change", but insists it is "not a day for celebration".

The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) was suspended on August 7 following revelations of state-sponsored doping in two independent reports commission by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

The RPC lodged an appeal against the ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but their claim was dismissed on Tuesday as the independent body found the IPC "did not violate any procedural rule in dealing with the disciplinary process leading to the RPC's suspension".

Craven was pleased the ruling had been upheld but expressed sympathy for the affected competitors.

The IPC president hopes the decision can help drive change in Russia and says the organisation will work with WADA to establish the criteria for the reinstatement of the RPC.

"We are greatly encouraged that the CAS Panel has upheld the IPC Governing Board's unanimous decision to hold the Russian Paralympic Committee accountable for its membership responsibilities and obligations," said Craven in a statement.

"Today's decision underlines our strong belief that doping has absolutely no place in Paralympic sport, and further improves our ability to ensure fair competition and a level playing field for all Para athletes around the world.

"Although we are pleased with the decision, it is not a day for celebration and we have enormous sympathy for the Russian athletes who will now miss out on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

"It is a sad day for the Paralympic Movement, but we hope also a new beginning. We hope this decision acts as a catalyst for change in Russia and we can welcome the Russian Paralympic Committee back as a member safe in the knowledge that it is fulfilling its obligations to ensure fair competition for all.

"Beyond Rio 2016, we will work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to establish the criteria the Russian Paralympic Committee needs to meet in order to fulfil all its membership obligations and have its suspension lifted.

"We will also continue to work closely with the IPC Anti-Doping Committee and WADA on the measures to be taken to address the athletes implicated as part of the McLaren Report, including advice on results management."

The IPC confirmed it will now work with other international federations to redistribute the 267 Paralympic Games slots that had been secured by Russian athletes before the event commences on September 7.