Russia decision to be taken 'in the interest of sport', says IPC's Sir Philip Craven

International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven
Craven has been in his current role since 2001

The International Paralympic Committee will make its decision on Russia's participation in the Rio Games "in the interest of sport", president Sir Philip Craven has told BBC Sport.

The IPC opened proceedings against the National Paralympic Committee of Russia after a report claimed the country had operated a widespread doping programme.

A decision on any ban will come in the week commencing 1 August.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has opted against a blanket ban.

"I can assure you that our board will take the right decision in the interest of sport and the interest of the Paralympic movement moving forward," said Craven.

On Sunday, the IOC said it would leave it up to the governing bodies of individual sports to decide if Russian competitors are clean and should be allowed to take part.

But Craven, himself a member of the IOC, was critical of that decision and said the IPC would not necessarily follow suit.

"I am disappointed in their decision, but that is a personal view," he added.

"We have to acknowledge their right to take such a decision. This is ultra-serious. I don't think there has been a situation in the past where you have had institutional doping on such a scale.

"We believe the Russian NPC is either unwilling or unable to uphold the IPC anti-doping code, which is in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency code, so that is what they have to respond to."

Canadian law professor Richard McLaren's report, published last week, claimed Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme from 2011 to 2015.

The IPC said it acted after McLaren provided the names of the athletes associated with the 35 "disappearing positive samples" from the Moscow laboratory highlighted in the report.

Nineteen samples potentially doctored as part of the sample-swapping regime during the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games have been sent for further analysis.

Russia will have up to 21 days to appeal against any IPC decision, with the Rio Paralympics due to begin on 7 September.

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