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>> Banned, but defiant, Russia vowing to appeal a decision to block its entire Paralympic team from competing in Rio. Moscow blaming politics for the ruling, according to Reuters Deputy Bureau Chief, Andrew Osborn.>> Today, Vladimir Lukin, the President of the Russian Paralympian Committee, gave a news conference in which he really blamed this on politics.
He said that just a week ago everything was fine, that in fact, the Russian Paralympic Committee was even being praised, he said, for his actions, for his anti-doping actions. But he said suddenly, in the space of a week, everything changed. And that, he said, he thought was suspicious.
And he said that it made him think, really, that this was all about politics, a political conspiracy against Russia itself.>> The accusation against Russia has orchestrated a state-sponsored doping program. As it stands, all 250 Russian athletes are banned from the Rio Paralympics, the decision taken by the International Paralympic Committee far harsher than the Olympic governing body.
It left the decision in the hands of individual sporting associations to tackle on a case by case basis. On Monday, the president of the Russian Paralympic Committee said the ruling was a grave human rights violation. He says the committee can prove it's met all anti-doping obligations.>> Russian president Vladimir Putin himself has repeatedly said that attempts to, if you like, to damage the Russian sporting world by harping on, as he puts it, about this doping scandal, this is all part of some kind of shadowy political conspiracy against Russia, against the Kremlin, designed to besmirch its good name.
Of course, Russia is a major sporting power. National pride here very closely linked to sporting prowess.>> The motivations for the ban now likely to be argued over in court. But less open to interpretation is the damage this is doing to Russian sport. Athletes competing under the flag are already being booed in Rio, their legacy as the holders of the Sochi Winter Olympics already tarnished.