Putin gives credit to Russian Olympic team for 'worthy' show
MOSCOW: The Russian contingent has shown "worthy performance" during the Rio Olympic Games in spite of being cut by a third and thus deprived of showing all its capacities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
The Russian contingent finished fourth at the Rio Olympics with 19 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze medals, despite its athletics team being banned.
"Even though you have passed very severe trials, you have shown the utmost mastership, demonstrated the best endurance and stamina, and reaffirmed Russia's solid positions in world sports," Putin said at a meeting with Russia's Olympians in the Kremlin.
Putin also lashed at international sports and anti-doping bodies for creating obstacles to the participation of all Russian Olympians and for disqualification of the Russian Paralympic team, saying that humanistic fundamentals have been "blatantly trampled by politics", reports Xinhua.
"The decision to disqualify the Paralympians contradicts the law, ethics and humanism," he said.
Putin said Russia would organise special competition to Paralympians and give them awards equal to those of the winners of the Olympics.
The Russian leader acknowledged that there are mistakes in the country's sport community and vowed to reform its anti-doping institutions to make them transparent.
Meanwhile, he noted that Russia will accept no accusations against its athletes not backed by solid proof and will consider them as "manipulation".
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) took the decision to suspend Russia from participating in the September 7-18 Paralympics following the publication of a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which said Russian State had manipulated the doping control process.
WADA also recommended the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban the participation of the entire Russian team in the Rio Olympic Games.
But, differently from IPC, IOC left it up to individual sports associations to decide on the Russian participation. After that 278 Russian athletes have been cleared for the Rio Games.