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Belarusian team rips into ‘inhumane’ blanket ban on Russian Paralympians

August 23, 2016, 16:57 UTC+3 MINSK

The Belarusian Paralympic team in a gesture of solidarity will not only carry the Belarusian flag, but also the Russian one as well in Rio

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© Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

MINSK, August 23. /TASS/. The ban slapped on the Russian national team from competing in the Rio Paralympic Games is inhumane and violates the generally recognized moral principles, Chairman of the Belarusian Paralympic Committee told TASS on Tuesday.

"We are simply shocked. Never in the history of the Paralympic movement has anyone seen such an inhumane attitude toward people," Oleg Shepel exclaimed.

He said isolated claims, if any, could not be extended to collective responsibility. "It’s just astonishing, the speed at which international officials are acting to remove Russians from Paralympic Games so that they won’t get a chance to mount a timely appeal against the decision," he pointed out.

"If they say there were problems with doping tests of Russian athletes between 2012 and 2016, why didn’t anyone bring up the issue back in 2012, 2013, or 2014?" the leader of Belarussian Paralympians asked. "As Paralympic gold medalist and the head of the national Paralympic committee, I am simply outraged by the state of things," Shepel clamored.

He said in a gesture of solidarity with the Russian athletes, the Belarusian Paralympic team "will not only carry the Belarusian flag, but also the Russian one as well" in Rio.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday dismissed an appeal filed by the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) to fight the ban placed on Russian athletes from next month’s Paralympic Games in Rio.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) earlier suspended the RPC and barred Russian athletes from this year’s Games following the now-infamous report of the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) led by Richard McLaren. The RPC filed an appeal to the CAS on August 15 against the suspension.

The Rio Paralympic Games are scheduled to be held from September 7 to 18.

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