Russian paralympians put doping scandal back in spotlight

Global Business

Russian paralympians put doping scandal back in spotlight

All of Russia’s paralympians have been banned from their games next month. So why were some able bodied Russian athletes allowed to compete at the current games.

CCTV America’s Owen Fairclough reports.

Russian president Vladimir Putin inaugurated the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics. Those host athletes utterly dominated, winning 30 gold medals. But now they’re paying the price for taking part in a huge state-sponsored doping program.

It covered up the positive tests of 44 para-athletes taking banned performance enhancers. Russia won’t compete at Rio’s paralympics in September.

“I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed its Para athletes. Their medals over morals mentality disgust me. The complete corruption of the anti-doping system is contrary to the rules and strikes at the very heart of the spirit of Paralympic sport,” said Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee president.

But why did International Paralympic Committee impose a blanket country ban when its Olympic counterparts didn’t for able bodied Russian athletes involved in the same cover up

The head of the IOC said left it up to each sport’s ruling body to decide. That meant Russian weightlifters banned from Rio while nearly 300 other Russian athletes in others disciplines who’ve passed drugs tests are taking part.

Thomas Bach said the IPC has just only one member federation in Russia, this can compare for instance with the situation in the International Weightlifting Federation where also the IOC accepted and helped and supported the decision to exclude the whole team because it had so many cases.

The Russian Paralympic Committee insisted its athletes are clean and plans to appeal through international arbitration.

“If the Paralympic Committee is being accused, its guilt should be proven. We should not have to prove our innocence but our guilt should be proven,” Vladimir Lukin, the president of the Russian Paralympic Committee said.

Officials have until the end of August to appeal before the Paralympics begins on September 7.

Dr. Don Catlin on drug testing advances and importance of athletics in Russia

For more about drug testing advances and importance of athletics in Russia, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori interviewed Dr.Don Catlin, founder & fmr director, UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, and he is also the Chief Science Officer, Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG).