Russia has opened an alternative event for national Paralympians banned from the Paralympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, the Russian news agency TASS has reported.
“The Paralympic sports in Russia will continue receiving support, attention and care on behalf of the authorities,” Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said at an official opening ceremony of the alternative games organized by the Russian authorities outside Moscow.
According to the agency, 263 athletes are taking part in the event, competing in 18 sports.
“We are all sending our sincere greetings to the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro since we are all brothers and sisters and in the Paralympic family and wish that the Games there will be good,” the RPC (Russian Paralympic Committee) president Vladimir Lukin was quoted as saying.
On August 7, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided to bar the whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that Russia would organize alternative competitive events on Sept. 8-9, for the barred Russian Paralympic team and the awards for the Paralympians would be equal to those promised at the 2016 Rio Games.