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Crimean leader backs proposal for peninsula to hold Paralympic events

The entire Russian team has not been allowed to compete in this year’s Paralympic Games
Crimea’s Head Sergey Aksyonov  Alexei Pavlishak/TASS
Crimea’s Head Sergey Aksyonov
© Alexei Pavlishak/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, August 29. /TASS/. Crimea’s Head Sergey Aksyonov has approved of the idea that the Black Sea peninsula should host special competitions for Paralympians that Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested organizing.

"I fully back the idea that Crimea should hold alternative competitions for athletes who have been denied the right to participate in the Paralympics by sports officials," the press service cited Aksyonov as saying.

The Crimean leader said the decision to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee was "unprecedentedly insolent and cynical." "We understand the reasons behind this - its impotent rage. Russia’s enemies see that all their attempts of harming this country have failed. They tried to take it out on our Olympic athletes - but they failed, and now they are venting their spite on people with disabilities… Once again they have made the whole world understand that they have neither legal nor moral norms," he stressed.

Restrictions against Russia’s Paralympic movement were introduced in the wake of the investigation by the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) headed by Richard McLaren. On July 22, after receiving information about 35 Russian Paralympians whose names were mentioned in the WADA commission’s report, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) opened a case against the RPC.

On August 7, IPC head Philip Craven announced that the Committee would not let the Russian team compete at the Summer Paralympic Games scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro from September 7 to 18. Last week, 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. So, the entire Russian team has not been allowed to compete in this year’s Paralympic Games.

President Putin said on Thursday the country would organize special competitive events for Paralympians at which they could demonstrate their skills. In addition, winners would receive prizes on par with those of the Olympics.

Earlier, Deputy Head of the State Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veteran Affairs, Member of the Executive Committee of the Russian Paralympic Committee Mikhail Terentyev said such Games should be held in Sochi or in Crimea.