Mass Punishment of Russian Paralympians Raises Serious Ethical Questions

– Forbes

Mass punishment without regard to guilt is fundamentally opposed to the basic tenets of western civilization. Mass punishment of people who have overcome handicaps to become world-class athletes makes the situation much worse, if that is possible.

Yet that is what happened yesterday with the Paralympics that will be staged in Rio next month. The International Paralympic Committee has banned all 267 Russian athletes without determining whether each of these athletes has done anything wrong. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has affirmed this ban on the grounds that it “was proportionate,” although it is entirely unclear how a punishment can be proportionate if a wrong was not committed by a banned athlete. Because of this process, we do not know–and we will never know– whether a wrong was committed by each and every person that was punished, none of whom had the opportunity to defend themselves.

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