Russia is now seeing serious fallout in Rio over its doping scandal, as its entire team was banned Sunday from the 2016 Paralympics, International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven announced.
Craven slammed the country in scathing remarks at a Sunday news conference, saying Russia’s “medals over morals mentality disgusts me.” “The anti-doping system in Russia is broken, corrupted and entirely compromised,” he went on.
The ban is a reaction to World Anti-Doping Agency report written by Richard McLaren that revealed widespread, state-sponsored doping in the Russian sports system last month. Craven said the report “marked one of the darkest days in the history of all sport.”
“I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed its para athletes,” Craven said Sunday, according to NPR. “Their medals over morals mentality disgusts 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. It shows a blatant disregard for the health and well-being of athletes and, quite simply, has no place in Paralympic sport. Their thirst for glory at all costs has severely damaged the integrity and image of all sport.”
The International Olympic Committee previously ruled that each sport could make a decision over whether Russians were allowed to compete.
Craven took specific aim at Russian president Vladimir Putin’s administration, saying, “The doping culture that is polluting Russian sport stems from the Russian government and has now been uncovered in not one, but two independent reports commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.”
Russia was also found to be guilty of doping in the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. The country came in second place overall at the 2012 London Paralympics.
The Paralympics will take place following the conclusion of the Olympics, from Sept. 7-18. The only way Russia may able to compete would be with a successful appeal.