CCES Statement on the IPC Decision to suspend the Russian Paralympic Team from Rio

(Ottawa, Ontario – August 9, 2016) – The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) commends the decision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to suspend the Russian Paralympic Delegation from the Paralympic Games in Rio. 

“While this is no cause for celebration, it is a critical decision which demonstrates that principles can come before politics in protecting the interests of clean athletes,” said Doug MacQuarrie, CCES Chief Operating Officer. “I can only echo IPC President Sir Philip Craven’s words: ‘[Their medals over morals mentality] shows a blatant disregard for the health and well-being of athletes and, quite simply, has no place in Paralympic sport.’”

“With a vision of fair, safe and open sport for Canadians, CCES believes such behaviour has no place in any sport,” added MacQuarrie.

The IPC commenced their internal disciplinary process regarding the Russian Paralympic Committee in light of the McLaren Report. After further review of the findings in the report confirming a state-sponsored doping regime, and after hearing from the Russian Paralympic Committee in its own defence, the IPC Governing Board unanimously chose to suspend Russia. Subject to a right of appeal, the Russian Paralympic Committee will be excluded from all IPC activities, which includes the Rio Paralympics.

Todd Nicholson, Canadian Paralympian and Chair of the IPC Athlete’s Council, expressed the dilemma very clearly: “[When athletes] compete for a Paralympic medal, they should do so by taking to a level playing field. They do not want to line-up and have to question whether their main rival is a doper or not…Athletes appear to be pawns in a broken and corrupt system designed to show global prowess. Because of the Russian government’s desire to seek an unfair competitive advantage, their athletes will now miss out on the opportunity to compete on the biggest stage of all.”

The CCES commends the IPC for doing the right thing – and not the easy thing – by taking the steps necessary to protect clean competition in the upcoming Rio Paralympic Summer Games and for not allowing commercial and political interests to come before the ideals of true sport.

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for profit organization with a responsibility to administer the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. We are committed to working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.           

Twitter: @ethicsinsport
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For further information, please contact:
Megan Cumming
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