Banned from Rio Paralympics, Russian athletes compete in games at home

World Today

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As the Paralympic Games in Rio are underway, Russia has held a two-day contest for its Paralympic team that has been banned from the official games. The competition is for those athletes who made up the national squad, representing 18 Paralympic sports.

CCTV’s Julia Lyubova reports. Follow Julia Lyubova on Twitter @julialyubova

Banned from Rio Paralympics, Russian athletes compete in games at home

Banned from Rio Paralympics, Russian athletes compete in games at home

Banned from the 2016 Paralympic Games over state-run doping, Russian elite athletes took part in an alternative competition outside of Moscow instead. CCTV's Julia Lyubova reports.

It may not be the Paralympic glory they hoped for, but for these Russian athletes it is a chance to put an end to years of preparations for this year’s Paralympic Games in Brazil.

Banned from the games over state-run doping, these elite athletes took part in an alternative competition outside of Moscow instead.

266 athletes originally selected for the National Paralympic team took part in the tournament. They represent 18 sports including track, field athletics, swimming, tennis and archery.

Russia decided to hold this alternative Paralympic tournament after it lost an appeal against a blanket ban imposed by the International Paralympic Committee. The dispute is centered on a World Anti-Doping Agency report, which alleges that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the security services covered up hundreds of doping cases across Olympic and Paralympic events.

This tournament became known as the all-Russian competition for sports included in the Paralympic Games program. Some results here have beaten current world records but it’s unlikely to be taken into consideration by international sporting officials. Some of these athletes had a handful of competitors, while others had none at all.

Russia’s Paralympic athletes are considered to be some of the best in the world. Their team took the second place behind China at London 2012. But with the suspension of the country’s membership of the International Paralympic Committee, the Russian team will miss the 2018 Games in South Korea, and it’s unclear when they’ll be allowed to return to international competition.