The Russian Paralympic squad has been banned form participating in the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games following allegations of a state-sponsored doping programme.
The announcement follows a similar decision from the International Olympic Committee.
International Paralympic Committee president Sir Phillip Craven said that Russia has “catastrophically failed its para-athletes”. At the announcement in Rio, he said: “The Russian Paralympic Committee are unable to ensure compliance with and enforcement of the IPC anti-doping code and the world anti-doping code within their own national jurisdiction and they can not fulfil its fundamental obligation as an IPC member.
“As a result, the Russian Paralympic Committee is suspended with immediate effect.”
A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report from last month said that Russia’s sports ministry “directed, controlled and oversaw” manipulation of athletes’ urine samples for drug testing.
In a statement yesterday, the British Paralympic Association said: “While we have real sympathy for those individual Russian Paralympians not going to Rio who train and compete clean, it is crucial for the integrity of our sport that those involved as well as the public feel confident that all necessary measures are in place to tackle doping and the playing field is level. The British Paralympic Association therefore congratulates the IPC on taking a clear stand based on the evidence provided to the McClaren report and their own subsequent investigation. We believe they have followed a comprehensive and proper process throughout and taken a bold decision on the back of it.
“Our main focus remains on our own preparation for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and will continue as we have been doing in our work with athletes and staff.”