Russian Paralympic Committee head writes open letter to IOC chief

Russian Paralympic Committee head writes open letter to IOC chief

Moscow, Aug 11 (IANS) Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) chief Vladimir Lukin has written an open letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach after Russia was barred from the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on August 7 banned Russia from competing in the Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil, reports Tass.

“I am appealing to you in response to your statement made on August 8, 2016 concerning the decision of the International Paralympic Committee to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee membership. It is absolutely clear that in this case we are dealing with the principle of collective responsibility for unproven crimes,” Lukin wrote in his letter on Wednesday.

“The IPC decision drastically contradicts the basic principles of international law and European culture which form the foundation of Olympic and Paralympic values.”

“The practice of punishing ruthlessly and indiscriminately the innocent people, on whom life has already been hard, for possible abuses made by the very few individuals (who should certainly be punished) is far from the principles of European humanism and the basic notions of European law,” the head of the Russian Paralympic Committee wrote.

He also criticised the practice of collective responsibility.

“The practice of collective responsibility and non-individualised punishment when the investigation is still under way and no court decisions have been made; the presumption of guilt and the principle of dual punishment for one and the same offence is not what the best people in your and in my country have been fighting for,” Lukin said.

IPC on July 22 filed a lawsuit against the Russian Paralympic Committee upon receipt of the names of 35 paralympic athletes who were mentioned in a World Anti-Doping Agency report.

The WADA executive committee recommended IOC, IPC and all international sport federations to ban Russian athletes and paralympians from competitions.

The Paralympic Games is to take place in Rio de Janeiro from September 7-18.

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