Canadian Paralympic Committee responds to IPC’s blanket ban on Russian athletes

The IPC and Russian flags stand side-by-side at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.
The IPC and Russian flags stand side-by-side at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.

As the Olympic Games get underway, it’s the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) that is making headlines after announcing that it has suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Shortly after 118 Russian Olympic athletes were banned as a result of a major doping scandal, the IPC has taken matters a step further, as all Russian Paralympic athletes have been suspended from participating at the Games in Rio.

This is the official ruling from the IPC: “Russia is ineligible to compete due to its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular the obligation to comply with and abide by the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code.”

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is on board with the decision and believes it is in line with the Paralympic movement.

“The Canadian Paralympic Committee applauds the International Paralympic Committee’s strong leadership and continued stance on ensuring that our movement upholds the values of clean sport and fair play,” said President Gaétan Tardiff in the official statement.

“We continue to remain focused on providing a high performance, distraction-free environment for Team Canada’s Paralympic athletes who are getting ready to compete in Rio in September.”

The blanket ban leaves 267 slots that Russian athletes had secured across 18 sports vacant. They IPC is working to potentially redistribute these quota spots, but a decision is unlikely to be made until Russian appeals have concluded. It is unclear at this time how this will affect the Canadian athletes, but Tardiff said they are working towards making the appropriate adjustments.

The Canadian Paralympic Committee will now assess the impact of this announcement as it relates to any additions to Team Canada’s quota and will work with the affected national sport organizations to determine an action plan.”

The IPC was willing to do what the International Olympic Committee was not — and that is to send a message that they will not stand for cheating and the value of the Paralympic movement will not be compromised.

Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee

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