Russian Paralympic athletes will not compete in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the competition's organising body has announced over findings of widespread doping. Speaking in Rio at the Olympic Games, which began on Friday (5 August) and has been marred by reports of doping by Russia's able-bodied athletes, Sir Philip Craven, the president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the blanket ban.
Expressing his sorrow for the athletes caught up by the ruling, Craven said Russia had "catastrophically failed its para-athletes" by implementing a "corrupted, broken and entirely compromised" anti-doping system.
"Tragically this situation is not about athletes cheating the system, but about a state-run system which is cheating the athletes," Craven explained.
He added that such a culture of doping that disregarded Paralympic athletes' health and put medals before everything else "strikes at the very heart of Paralympic sport".
The ruling by the IPC is the second body blow to Russian sport in as many weeks after the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hand down sanctions to Russia over systematic doping.
However, the IOC stopped short of the blanket measures decided by its Paralympic sister organisation. The governing body instead allowed individual sporting federations to decide whether Russians could compete this summer in their respective sports.
Russia's track and field athletes had already been barred from competing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), a ban initially handed down in November 2015.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency condemned the IOC's move not to take stronger action.
Once all the individual sporting federations had made their decisions on action against the Russian athletes, the country's Olympic team announced it would have 278 athletes taking part in the games.