‘Russians need to show they’re clean’: Paralympics president allegedly pranked on TV

Philip Craven, the president of International Paralympic Committee, has allegedly been pranked on Russian TV. Pranksters called him, pretending to be Edwin Moses, prominent former athlete and now chairman of USADA, America’s anti-doping agency.

Prankster called him, pretending to be Edwin Moses, prominent former athlete and now chairman of USADA, America’s anti-doping agency.

The prankster first let Craven know about the leak of “some classified documents” about the American athletes, and went on to say: “It’s unofficial… We’re pretty sure it’s initiated by Russia.”

He also warns about other possible hacking attempts.

Craven sounds reserved, but intrigued and somewhat concerned, saying that there have been hacks. “We changed our passwords, but we didn’t know that any data was leaked.”

Craven goes on to thank the fake “Moses” for the FBI’s interest in the “leak.”

Another hot issue the prankster touched upon was the Russian Paralympic athletes’ ban from the Rio Games this year.

Later on, the IOC president Thomas Bach comes under fire, with Craven saying: “If Bach tries to pull a fast one, I'm going to slam him... and I hope Craig Reedie [president of the World Anti-Doping Agency] does the same.

“If Bach doesn't change his tune, he's going to be in a very difficult situation 'cause public opinion all over the world is against him. And particularly in Germany. Germany can't stand him. Angela Merkel can't stand him.”

Concluding the conversation, Craven says: “We will stand strong with you and with everybody else who knows that we cannot have the Russians competing again until they have adopted the right policies that show that they are a clean nation. Never mind clean athletes, they have to be a clean nation.”

RT has requested comment from representatives of Philip Craven and Thomas Bach regarding the authenticity of the records and information voiced by Craven. So far, no response has followed.

The press service for Gerardo Werthein, president of the Argentinian Olympic Committee, who was insulted by Craven during the phone call, told RT he would make no comment.

The recording was also forwarded to the Russian Paralympic Committee, and they are studying the conversation.

The decision to ban the entire Russian Paralympic team from participation in the Games in Rio was unanimously made by the IPC on August 7.

The ban came after allegations of a state-sponsored doping system in Russian athletics were revealed in a November 2015 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report. No accusations of doping have been presented against the members of the Paralympics team, however.

After the decision, the Russian Paralympic Committee lodged several appeals to the IPC, CAS and the Swiss Federal Court, but they were all rejected.

On Saturday, the Olympic summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, is set to kick off, with the IOC saying the event will focus on creating "a more robust, more efficient and more independent" worldwide anti-doping system.

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