"Let's look at where responsibility really lies" - UK anti-doping expert backs Russia's Paralympic Games ban

Michele Verroken backs the International Paralympic Committee's blanket ban on Russia

The International Paralympic Committee have banned Russia from competing at Rio 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

The former director of ethics and anti-doping for UK Sport has supported the decision to ban all Russian athletes from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, and that critics of the move should "look at where the responsibility really lies", rather than blaming the International Paralympic Committtee (IPC).

Russia has said it intends to appeal the decision, announced by the IPC on Sunday, to ban all athletes from the country from competing at the Paralympics, which take place from September 7 to 18.

The ban is far stronger than the one taken at the Olympic Games, where the International Olympic Committee passed on responsiblity for the decision over whether or not athletes should be allowed to compete to the governing bodies of the individual sports.

Russia has been accused of running a widespread, state-sponsored doping programme over several years, with IPC president Sir Philip Craven saying the country had "catastrophically failed its para athletes" with "their medals-over-morals mentality".

Michele Verroken, who was head of anti-doping in the UK for 18 years between 1986 and 2004, told Paul Ross: "I think they've come up with the right decision based on the evidence they've got and the situation they're in.

"The IPC went back to the independent enquiry and gathered more evidence.

"They made sure to gather it and come to a conclusion involving an open discussion. 

"This is about the state doping letting athletes down. Let's look at where the responsibility really lies."

Listen to the full interview above