IPC confirms blanket Paralympics ban for Russia

Allegations of state-sponsored doping made in an independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency have cast serious doubt over Russian competitors, who will now be forced to miss the Games in Rio.

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The opening ceremony for the 2016 Paralympic Games takes place on September 7.

Russia will not be allowed to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirmed it had implemented a blanket ban. Allegations of state-sponsored doping made in an independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency have cast serious doubt over Russian competitors, who will now be forced to miss the Games in Rio.

The stance taken by the IPC differs from that of the International Olympic Committee, who left it to sports' individual federations to determine which competitors could take part at the Olympic Games.

"It's a decision that's placed a huge burden upon all our shoulders and it's a decision we've had to take in the best interests of the Paralympic movement today and moving forward," said IPC president Philip Craven, who revealed the decision was unanimously agreed upon by the organisation's governing board.

"Ultimately as the global governing body for the Paralympic movement it is our responsibility to ensure fair competition so that athletes can have confidence that they are competing on a level playing field. This is vital to the integrity of Para-sport and in order to achieve this it is fundamental that each member abides by rules."

He added: "The McLaren report marked one of the darkest days in the history of all sport. The facts really do hurt. They are an unprecedented attack on every clean athlete. The Russian anti-doping system is broken and entirely compromised. "I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed its athletes."

The Russian Paralympic Committee launched an immediate appeal against the ruling. Russia's Paralympics team won 102 medals at London 2012 and placed second in the table with 36 golds, behind only China. The opening ceremony for the 2016 Games takes place on September 7.