Faster, Higher, Stronger and not Russian

The International Paralympics Committee has imposed a blanket ban on Russian athletes competing in the Rio Paralympic Games. IPC president Sir Philip Craven said the Russian system was so “broken, corrupted and entirely compromised” that it must face the ultimate sanction. That is just so wrong.

The decision affects about 267 Russian athletes across 18 sports. Far from demonstrating a determination to clamp down on drugs, it further damages the credibility of the IPC and the IOC. Not only does it send a worrying message about the rights of disabled people, but it also threatens to undermine the Olympic ideal. Although athletes compete at the Games under their country’s flag, an indiscriminate ban is a blunt instrument that distorts the vision of gathering the best athletes in the world to compete against one another in pursuit of excellence (Faster, Higher, Stronger).

A Russian sports ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, described the sanction as inhumane. “The decision to bar the entire Russian Paralympic team from the Paralympic Games is strikingly filthy and inhumane,” she wrote on social media. “It is a betrayal of those high human rights standards the modern world is resting on.”

Egregious as the sins of the Russian sports ministry have been, no individual athlete should be made to answer for them if he or she is clean.

About thespeedofdark

David Winship has written an unauthorised autobiography and several critically disdained literary tomes. His work is frequently compared with Steinbeck, Orwell and Hemingway, but unfortunately Mike Steinbeck, Daisy Orwell and Howard Hemingway were all terrible writers. He has been totally overlooked for the most prestigious literary awards worldwide, which is a shame as most of the words are spelled correctly. In fact, his books contain material that ranks with the finest literary works in history: all the right letters are there, just not necessarily in the right order.

Dave’s blog (The Speed Of Dark Blog) is part of his crusade for truth and justice and universal entitlement to free real ale. It may well be that his whole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

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