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Russia's Wheelchair Dancers Stripped of Medals

Russian participants at the wheelchair dancing World Cup have been stripped of their medals by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Dancers from 11 countries gathered for the competition in St. Petersburg last weekend.

The Russian dancers were initially given their medals at the end of the first day's events, but a last-minute message from the IPC ordered that the Russian team be excluded from the results, Russia's Paralympic Committee announced Monday.

Competitive wheelchair dancing falls under the remit of the IPC, who ruled to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee earlier this summer due to reports of widespread, state-backed doping. The decision means that no Russian athlete can compete in an IPC event, including this summer's Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

A number of Russian athletes were awarded with special prizes, but all will lose the points which could have seen them qualify for the wheelchair dance World Championships.

“We would like to emphasize that most of the foreign athletes did not wear their medals out of respect for Russian athletes,” a statement from Russia's Paralympic Committee said.

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