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Medvedev Slams 'Politically Motivated' Russian Paralympic Ban

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has condemned the decision to ban all Russian athletes from this year's Paralympic Games as “politically motivated” and "discriminatory." 

The Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) ruled Tuesday that it would uphold the ban against the Russian squad made by the the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Aug. 7. The IPC first announced their decision to exclude Russian athletes following reports of state-backed doping in the country.

Writing on Facebook, Medvedev claimed that the ban was  “20 percent related to doping and 80 percent politics.”

The ban was engineered by “politicians targeting Russian sport, Russian athletes and the Russian state,” Medvedev said, claiming that some international sporting bodies were “paralyzed with fear” by the transnational reach of American justice.

.“A number of states and their sporting establishments were looking for a traditional enemy, and they found one,” he wrote.

Medvedev also reserved special criticism for doping whistle blowers, calling them “scum.” His comments are believed to refer to former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, who fled Russia for the United States in November last year. His testimony was used heavily by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) when investigating doping in Russian sport.

“[They] firstly inject athletes with drugs which they bring into the country, and they then run away overseas and testify in court in return for witness protection and future rewards,” Medvedev said.

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