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Putin: IPC humiliates itself by barring Russian Paralympians from Rio Games

The president has pointed out that victimizing parathletes and barring them from participation in the Games for political reasons is cynical

MOSCOW, August 25. /TASS/. The suspension of Russian Paralympic athletes humiliates the IPC, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a state awards ceremony on Thursday.

MOSCOW, August 25. /TASS/. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is humiliating itself by having decided to bar the Russian Paralympic team from the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro next month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

"I feel sorry for those, who make such decisions as they cannot but understand that they are humiliating themselves," the Russian president said.

According to Putin, "the decision to suspend our Paralympians is beyond all boundaries of legal norms, moral principles and humanity."

"This is simply cynical to work frustration off on those, who see sport as their sense to live, those, who inspire with hope and belief millions of people with limited physical abilities," he said.

The Russian president said that besides the law all people with common sense are on the Russian side regarding this issue.

The president has also stressed that the anti-doping commissions’ activity should be transparent.

"The international anti-doping structures definitely need to improve their work in order to be free from any political pressure," Putin said.

The Russian president said all activities carried out by international anti-doping bodies must be transparent as they are not military establishments.

"Everyone must know, who is tested, where is testing taking place, what methods were used for testing, what were the results and what measures followed," the Russian president said adding that inly under such conditions the international society would be trusting such tests.

Putin also said that Russia would continue its work on the improvement of its national anti-doping structures.

"We will be doing it in a transparent manner and with the involvement of international experts," he said. "However, we will never accept any accusation regarding our athletes, if such accusations were not sustained by facts and proof, and will on the contrary deem them as attempted manipulation."

Putin has pointed out that victimizing parathletes and barring them from participation in the Games for political reasons is cynical. He was speaking at a ceremony of presenting state awards to the champions of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Moscow on Thursday. The high-profile medal award ceremony took place in the Alexander Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

Nine athletes were awarded the Order of Honor, while 37 others received the Order of Friendship. In addition to that, according to a Russian government decree, the winners of the 2016 Olympics will receive 4 million rubles ($61,000) each.

"To our great regret we have been witnesses to humanistic basics of sports and Olympism being blatantly suppressed by politicians, to time-serving decisions being made, to such qualities as greed and, possibly, cowardice, gain an upper hand over the principles of Olympism," Putin said.

He recalled that Russian athletes in Rio de Janeiro had a very hard time. On the eve of the Olympics the Russian team had been cut by a third, thus being denied a chance to compete in certain sports where it was a recognized leader.

"Dear friends, you have coped with all problems and performed as a united team. You’ve proven that victories are achieved not only by quality, although in this particular case the number of athletes was important, but also by skill and competence, and this is no less, possibly even more important.

The president promised that Russia would hold special competitions for Paralympians and the prizes would be equal to those at the Olympic Games.

"I want to tell our Paralympians: of course, we will support you and will organize the competitions especially for you where you will be able to show your skill. The prize for the winners will be the same as it would be after the Olympic Games," the president said.

"We will consider in detail the outcome of Rio de Janeiro and our plans for the future at the next meeting of the council for sport."

"But already now I want to say that we will certainly help our athletes to create all the necessary conditions for your successful training and future successful performance," Putin said.

Russia’s national team ended its performance at the Rio Olympic Games in the fourth place in unofficial team standings, winning 56 medals - 19 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze. The team was reduced as many athletes had been suspended following the doping scandal. A total of 107 out of 280 Russian athletes won the medals.

On Tuesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed an appeal filed by the Russian Paralympic Committee to fight the ban on Russian athletes from next month’s Paralympic Games. The ruling was handed down by Governing Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on August 7. So, the entire Russian team has not been allowed to compete in this year’s Paralympic Games.