Is Russian Paralympic team banned from the upcoming games? The answer, according to several sources, is yes. As early as Sunday or Monday, many expect the International Olympic Committee to announce that the entire Russian Paralympic team will not be allowed in Rio for the Paralympics, which start on September 7 through September 18.
It was originally announced all 389 Russian athletes would not participate in the Olympic Games in Rio after the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed that it “uncovered systematic state-sponsored doping and corruption at the highest levels of Russia’s athletic and drug testing rank.”
However, out of fear of an international incident or further straining the relations between Vladimir Putin and the rest of the world, hours before the opening ceremony, the International Olympic Committee approved 271 athletes to compete in the game.
But, when it comes to the Russian Paralympic team, the IOC has been under much pressure. Apparently, national doping agencies from 10 countries including the U.S., Canada, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland have called for Russia’s expulsion.
Expect the International Olympic Committee to use the following reason for the banning:
“The World Anti-Doping Agency last month reported that there were recurring cases of “disappearing positive samples” at the lab. That investigation produced the 35 names of Russian para-athletes who had disappearing samples, the International Paralympic Committee said.”
While the announcement has not yet been made, officials from other countries are already praising it. The chief executive of Australia’s Paralympic Committee Lynne Anderson said she supports the International Olympic Committee’s decision to combat doping, and she “approves of the global governing body of Paralympic sport taking a stand.” She explained:
“We’re eagerly awaiting the International Paralympic Committee’s announcement and we’ve been heartened by the leadership they’ve shown in taking investigations to the next level in terms of investigating potential suspension of the Russian national Paralympic committee.”
“We’re encouraged by the fact that the International Paralympic Committee has acted immediately on receiving evidence around Paralympic infractions, and also that they have sought further collaboration with the author of the McLaren report. We’re positive that they will come up with the right decision and we are 100 per cent committed to supporting our athletes and allowing them the opportunity to compete in a clean environment.”
This will be the second time the country will be absent from the games. The first time was in 1984 when Russia boycotted the International Games for the Disabled, canonically the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville, the United Kingdom. Russia has denied all doping allegations.