IPC to consider Russia Paralympics ban


The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will consider banning Russian athletes from the Games in Rio in September amid allegations of state-sponsored doping.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling on Thursday upheld the IAAF's decision to suspend Russia's track and field athletes from the Olympic Games.

That came following the publication of the McLaren report, which found that doping of Russian athletes had been "directed [and] controlled" at state level and prompted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to call for a blanket ban.

The IPC on Friday revealed that suspension proceedings had been opened against the National Paralympic Committee of Russia (NPC Russia), with a decision on whether Paralympic athletes will be permitted to compete in Brazil to be announced in the week commencing August 1.

It was revealed by the IPC that the names of 35 Paralympic athletes associated with the 35 "disappearing positive samples" from the Moscow laboratory highlighted in the McLaren report have been provided.

Nineteen samples from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games have also been sent for immediate further analysis after they were identified by Professor Richard McLaren's investigation team as having been potentially doctored.

IPC president Philip Craven said: "The [McLaren] report revealed an unimaginable scale of institutionalised doping in Russian sport that was orchestrated at the highest level. McLaren's findings are of serious concern for everyone committed to clean and honest sport.

"The additional information we have been provided with by Richard McLaren includes the names of the Para athletes associated with the 35 "disappearing positive samples" from the Moscow laboratory highlighted in the report.

"We are also urgently following up on Mr. McLaren's recommendation for 19 samples from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games to be sent for further analysis, having been identified as part of the sample swapping regime in place during the Games.

"With regard to NPC Russia, we have started proceedings to consider the suspension of their membership of the IPC. This decision was not taken lightly, but after fully evaluating the "Independent Person Report" and the additional information we have received, the IPC believes that the current environment in Russian sport - which stems from the highest levels - is such that NPC Russia appears unable to fulfil its IPC membership obligations in full.

"Before making a decision, NPC Russia will have an opportunity to present its case to the IPC.

"In addition, the IPC is continuing to explore a host of other measures and actions in order to take the strongest possible steps to protect the integrity of Paralympic sport."