President Vladimir Putin said a decision to ban Russia’s Paralympic team from competing in Rio had been “hypocritical and cowardly. Speaking to Russian Paralympians during a special ceremony in the Kremlin that celebrated their achievements at the alternative Paralympics staged by Russia, Putin said the international Paralympic committee had singled out Russia for harsh treatment. Russia’s track-and-field team was excluded from the Rio games after world anti-doping authorities alleged Moscow ran a state-sponsored sports doping programme. The entire Russian Paralympic team was barred over the same doping allegations. The medical data of several athletes were leaked this month by a Russian hacking group, which is known as apt28 and fancy bear by U.S. Cyber-security researchers. Putin said Moscow was co-operating with international organizations to tackle sports doping, but called for more transparency.