The International Paralympic Committee today confirmed its decision to ban Russian para-athletes from the Rio 2016 Games as IPC President Sir Philip Craven described the anti-doping system in Russia as "broken, corrupted and entirely compromised.”
Sir Philip, also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), accused the Russian Government of "catastrophically failing" its Para-athletes, adding: "The medals over morals attitude disgusts me."
The IPC provisionally suspended the entire Russian team from the Paralympics, due to take place from September 7 to 18, following the release of Richard McLaren's report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The Canadian lawyer uncovered the presence of a state-sponsored doping scheme within the Russian system and also revealed what he described as the "disappearing positive methodology" - where positive samples were switched for clean ones.
A total of 35 "disappearing positives" were found in Paralympic sport, according to the report, although only 21 of these were within the IPC remit.
Since then another 10 such cases have come to the attention of the IPC within the last 24 hours.
The IPC position - arrived at by a unanimous vote of its Board - contrasted starkly with that taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the eve of the Games.
As did the condemnatory tone.
"We were strongly of view that the Russian Paralympic Committee is unable to enforce compliance of the doping code and therefore cannot fulfil its duties," Sir Philip told a press conference here.
"Therefore the IPC has decided to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee with immediate effect.
"The Russian Paralympic Committee will not be able to enter its athletes into the 2016 Games."
Sir Philip said he had not been "diametrically opposed" to the decision to allow individual International Federations to rule on whether Russian competitors should be allowed at the Rio Games following the McLaren Report.
"I believe the Russian Government has catastrophically failed their Para-athletes," Craven said.
"Their thirst for glory at all costs has significantly damaged all sport.
"This is why we feel we had no option but to take this action.
"This is not about athletes cheating the system, but about a state-run system which is cheating the athletes.
"The medals over morals attitude disgusts me."
The Russian Paralympic Committee - which spent three hours in consultation at the IPC meeting in Bonn last week - was informed of the decision made at Friday’s meeting of the Board an hour before the press conference.
"This whole sad 20 days since we learned that Para-sport was involved in revelations of the McLaren report, has all the time been about our member either abiding or not abiding by the membership rules," said Sir Philip.
"It is not about individuals or individual sports, it was based on whether the Russian Federation can fulfil their obligations within the current state-sponsored doping system.
"We believe they cannot.
"The Russian Paralympic Committee have 21 days to appeal.
"That is all I want to say on that."
Sir Philip claimed that the IPC had immediately followed up with McLaren after his report indicated 35 "disappearing positive”" Russian drug tests across Paralympic sport between 2012 and 2015, and also that the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi had been compromised by the switching of samples.
He added that another 10 suspicious samples had been identified since the publication of the report, adding: "I wasn't aware of this until yesterday, that another 10 samples have been identified by McLaren in his ongoing investigations.
"I am not saying this is the beginning, but it is not the end."
Despite widespread calls for a blanket ban from the WADA and its national counterparts, the IOC instead left it up to International Federations to decide if Russians could compete.
With only athletics, rowing, weightlifting and canoeing taking a hard line, the final size of the Russian Olympic team in Rio was announced at 271.
But Sir Philip insisted there had been no pressure from the IOC to follow their lead.
"You will have to speak to the IOC on why they took their decision, but I can absolutely assure you, I told Thomas Bach about our decision on Friday and at no time did anyone from the IOC attempt to influence our decision and that is absolutely gospel truth," he said.
All samples from the Sochi 2014 are now going to be re-tested, Sir Philip added.
Asked why he had not objected at the time to the decision taken by the IOC Executive Committee, Craven responded: "I am here at the Olympic Games as a member of the IOC.
"That the IOC Executive Committee took their decision in good faith I have to accept.
"I am not a person who abstains.
"I was not diametrically opposed to their decision because it was taken for the best reasons for the IOC.
"It is a very different situation with the IPC.
"I have never been part of a Board that is as united on topics that affect our Movement.
"The President of the IPC does not rule the IPC Governing Board - I would have no chance.
"Therefore we have come to this decision as a united team, and that's where the difference lies.
"I think I can say that the IPC decision was for the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games."
Sir Philip denied allegations that he had "cosied up" to Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, at Sochi 2014.
"I did not," Craven said.
“On March 4, 2014, I wrote to Vladimir Putin that we were here for sport and nothing else and left it at that.
"He was there during the sports events and the interaction we had was quite normal with any Head of State of a nation staging the Games.
"I announced at the Closing Ceremony of Sochi that they were the greatest Paralympic Games ever.
"But that was based on the evidence we had at the time.
"Maybe I will have to review that.
"This is about intentional covering up of intentional cheating on a country-wide scale, and therefore yes there will be individual athletes that are probably clean, but until we can count upon the Russian Paralympic Committee entering athletes into competition that are clean then this is not something we can accept.
"How will it seem for an athlete to line-up against an opponent and think 'they are doping, I've got no chance'.
"I've got three young grandsons - what if parents start saying 'no, stick to your computer' because of these revelations?
"This is far bigger in terms of sport.
"The final principle is that to world sport and Para-sport there is a great threat to what we view as the sporting spirit of all.
"That cannot be allowed.
"Following rules is fundamental to sport - and if we start slackening up on that, then we are finished."