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ACSM Executive Leadership Expresses Support for IPC Decision Regarding Russian Paralympic Committee

Last Monday, top elected leaders from ACSM announced that they support the decision by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) and entirely ban its athletes from the Rio Paralympic Games. ACSM’s leadership called the decision bold, regrettable and the strictest penalty available unless the appeal by the RPC reveals new and compelling facts, and recommends more action with anti-doping strategies.

“When athletes can’t compete in the Olympics or Paralympics after years of training and sacrifice, it is deeply unfortunate,” said Elizabeth Joy, MD, MPH, FACSM, president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “But the focus on the Games, and the qualifying events that lead to the Games, has to be placed first on the health of the athletes, and secondarily on fair competition. We must also consider the cascading effects on developing youth in sport at all levels – youth who look to Olympians and other elite athletes as exemplary models of conduct. The decision by the IPC, absent of new information from the appeal, was difficult but appears to be the only recourse possible based on the comprehensive investigation and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report.” It was WADA that authorized a study of allegations that concluded a Russian state system has worked behind the scenes to hide that Russian athletes were using banned substances.

One potential action being considered by ACSM is the relaunch of an initiative known as Professionals Against Doping in Sports (PADS). ACSM created the PADS campaign with other organizations that shared its vision to make it an ethical standard and professional conduct priority to not enable, encourage or tolerate doping and use of banned substances in sports at any level. more


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