09242017Headline:

Russia banned from Paralympic Games over doping concerns

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has banned Russian athletes from competing at the Rio Paralympic Games next month, saying the Russian Paralympic Committee is unable to ensure compliance with anti-doping rules.

"[The obligations under the anti-doping code] are vital to the IPC’s ability to ensure fair competition and to provide a level playing field for all Para athletes around the world," the committee said in a statement released on Sunday.

As a result, the committee has decided to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee with immediate effect, meaning that Russia is unable to vote at meetings of members and the country will be unable to enter athletes in competitions sanctioned by the committee, including the upcoming Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"This decision has placed a huge burden upon all our shoulders, but it’s a decision we've had to take in the best interests of the Paralympic Movement," said IPC President Philip Craven. "Ultimately, as the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement, it is our responsibility to ensure fair competition, so that athletes can have confidence that they are competing on a level playing field."

The Russian Paralympic Committee has 21 days - until August 28 - to appeal the decision.

Russia has been under fire over allegations that the government sanctioned doping at international sporting events. Among other allegations, samples were allegedly tampered with at the laboratory that tested samples for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The International Olympic Committee also considered to ban Russia from the Rio Summer Olympics, but 271 Russian athletes were eventually approved to compete at the event. Another 118 Russian athletes were not approved to participate.

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