Russian Leader Condemns Paralympic Ban
The ruling of the International Paralympic Committee to bar Russian athletes from the Rio Paralympics is described as a “danger to global sports” by Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) “The IPC’s decision jeopardizes not only to Russia, but the entire global sports community,” Matviyenko on Thursday wrote in her blog on the official website of the Russian Federation Council, adding that such actions “are detrimental to the Olympic and Paralympic movement, which is being held hostage through immoral and destructive political games.”
The IPC decision “is directed not only against Russia but also against the idea that has been the cornerstone of modern civilization for centuries determining the course of history. “I have in mind the idea of humanism that proclaims a person’s physical, intellectual and spiritual development to be the supreme goal of the historical process,” the senator said, adding that “the Paralympic movement operates in full conformity with this idea.”
According to the Russian TASS news agency, Matviyenko also noted that, instead of “providing tangible evidence to substantiate its decision,” the IPC offers “declarative statements accusing Russian Paralympic athletes of mass doping abuse, and the Russian authorities – of conniving with this” thus setting “a precedent in the practical use of the principle of collective responsibility in global sports. To put it bluntly, the Committee does not care one bit about such fundamental human values as justice,” she said.
According to the speaker, “politics and morality do not always go side by side, their ways often diverge.” “However, even against this backdrop, the decision of the International Paralympic Committee to bar Russia’s national team from Rio Games is amazingly cruel, I would even call it inhuman,” Matviyenko said, adding that those who made this decision were guided exclusively by an anti-Russian bias.
She fully supported the appeal of the Russian Paralympic Committee to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to protest against this ruling. “On the other hand, I am perplexed and shocked by the lukewarm response of the international community to the IPC’s cynical actions,” the speaker added.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.