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PM considers refusal to let Russians take part in Paralympics political

August 23, 17:15 UTC+3
Dmitry Medvedev also considers the decision cynical
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© Dmitriy Astakhov/Russian government press service/TASS

MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday called the refusal to allow Russian athletes to take part in the Paralympic Games an attempt to remove a strong rival.

"Attacks on Russian sports continue: today the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the lawsuit of our Paralympic Committee. Russian Paralympians were banned from competitions in Rio," Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page.

"This decision is twice as cynical, as it concerns people who overcome themselves every day; this is a strike on all disabled people, not only Russians," he wrote.

"The decision clearly testifies to the desire of some leaders of the international Paralympic movement to remove strong rivals, as our national team has always won high positions," Medvedev said.

He called "unproven accusations of doping use" the reason for the ban.

According to the official, creation of a state-sponsored doping system is impossible in the modern world.

As the Russian premier said, doping is used in all countries and "actually in all kinds of sports."

"In the final account, the use of doping is the choice of an athlete, a doctor and a coach. It is not the choice of a federation, a state body or other persons but precisely the choice of an athlete, a doctor and a coach. The notorious state-sponsored system of doping? Today it is impossible in principle. In any case, in an open contemporary world," the Russian premier said.

The prime minister has also called to give up double standards in the fight against doping.

"Doping is quickly found in some countries but never in others. Some countries tend to have a ‘state-directed doping system’ and ‘bad athletes" while others are absolutely clean," Medvedev complained.

"Of course, we are dealing with double standards but it is also big politics. These are the toys for big countries and serious people. But what that all has got to do with sports, athletes and fans?" Medvedev asked.

"Of course, sports, including sports in Russia, should be cleaned from doping," the Russian prime minister said. "Can we do that alone? Apparently no! It is impossible for any country to do that on its own because of the problem’s complexity, its global prevalence and constantly appearing new substances and drugs," the Russian prime minister concluded.

"International sport federations have been impressed by the FIFA case and intimidated by the cross-border justice," Medvedev stressed.

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