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Russian President Putin slams Paralympic ban, calls it immoral

Putin, however, added that Russia has acknowledged its mistakes and will try to rectify them in the most 'transparent ways'. Photograph: (Getty)

WION Moscow, Russia Aug 25, 2016, 01.21 PM (IST)
A ban on Russia's Paralympic team competing in Rio next month is cynical and immoral, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today. 

He lashed out the anti-doping organisations, saying they singled out Russia because they were subjected to "political pressure".

"I used to say this before and I still believe that these international anti-doping structures should be rid of political pressure," Putin told Russian Olympians in a speech at Kremlin ceremony to welcome home participants of Rio Olympics 2016. 

Putin said the decision to ban atheletes, even those who had tested negative for consuming banned drugs, shows “how the humanistic foundations of sport and Olympism are shamelessly flouted by politics".

He, however, added that Moscow has acknowledged its mistakes and will try to rectify them in the most “transparent ways”. He also pledged to organise competitions for the banned Paralympians to show how skilled its atheletes are. 

"The decision to disqualify our Paralympic team is outside the law, outside morality and outside humanity," Putin said.

Russia narrowly escaped a blanket ban from the Rio Olympics last month after the world doping authorities accused Moscow of running a state-sponsored sports doping programme. Its track-and-field team was, however, excluded from the Games. 

Russia's Paralympic team has been suspended over the same doping allegations. 

Russia had last week appealed a decision to suspend the country over evidence of state-sponsored doping. The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) however said that Russia had lost its appeal. 

Russia finished fourth in the Olympic medal table with 56 medals, including 19 gold.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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