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CAS rejects Russian appeal against Paralympics ban decision

August 23, 13:10 UTC+3
The International Paralympic Committee is content with CAS decision
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© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

GENEVA, August 23. /TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday dismissed the appeal filed by the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) against the decision to ban Russian athletes from next month’s Paralympic Games in Rio.

The decision was rendered by Governing Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on August 7.

"As a consequence, the IPC decision is confirmed," CAS said. So, the entire Russian team has not been allowed to compete in the Paralympic Games.

"The CAS Panel in charge of this matter found that the IPC did not violate any procedural rule in dealing with the disciplinary process leading to the RPC’s suspension and that the decision to ban the RPC was made in accordance with the IPC Rules and was proportionate in the circumstances," the statement said.

The Panel noted that "the RPC did not file any evidence contradicting the facts the IPC decision was based on," it said. The RPC sent an appeal to the CAS on August 15.

The hearing of the case was held in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) earlier suspended the RPC and banned Russian athletes from this year’s Games following the report of the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) led by Richard McLaren.

International Paralympic Committee satisfied with decision

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is satisfied with the ruling, it said in a statement.

"We are greatly encouraged that the CAS Panel has upheld the IPC Governing Board’s unanimous decision," the IPC press service quotes the committee’s President Philip Craven as saying. "Although we are pleased with the decision, it is not a day for celebration and we have enormous sympathy for the Russian athletes who will now miss out on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. It is a sad day for the Paralympic Movement, but we hope also a new beginning."

The IPC will now work with international federations to redistribute the 267 slots that had been secured by the Russian athletes to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the statement says.

"As an autonomous organization with a different governance structure to the IOC, the IPC’s decision was based on the fact that there is one sole IPC member in Russia responsible for both winter and summer Para sport. We found that member - the Russian Paralympic Committee - not to be fulfilling its obligations in regards to the IPC Anti-Doping Code and World Anti-Doping Code and therefore decided to take the best course of action for the Paralympic Movement," it added.

"Beyond Rio 2016, we will work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to establish the criteria the Russian Paralympic Committee needs to meet in order to fulfil all its membership obligations and have its suspension lifted," the statement said. "We will also continue to work closely with the IPC Anti-Doping Committee and WADA on the measures to be taken to address the athletes implicated as part of the McLaren Report, including advice on results management."

Best lawyers to defend Paralympians

Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for Physical Culture and Sport Dmitry Svishchev told TASS best lawyers will defend Russian Paralympians’ right to compete at the Rio Games.

‘We’ll now be consulting with the best lawyers of the State Duma and we’ll involve all professionals and I myself will get fully involved in this work," Svishchev said.

"We’ll do everything possible to ensure that our athletes take part in the Paralympic Games," he said.

According to  Svishchev, CAS has displayed unprecedented arrogance and unscrupulousness.

"It was an act of unprecedented arrogance and unscrupulousness. I just cannot imagine how one can deny participation in the Games to people who have proved their right to full-fledged life with their courage," he said. "Whatever description can be chosen for this decision, it was an inhuman act. It might be possible to punish functionaries and coaches, but punishing athletes should not have been allowed by any means. My hat’s off to these people when I see what they’ve accomplished in defiance of all problems and hardships. Such people can only be respected."

The persons who have decided to reject the Russian Paralympians’ lawsuit against their suspension from the Rio Games were after all guided by those instructions, which their foreign "mentors" give them, the senior Russian lawmaker said.

"I’m confident that they devoted this night to negotiations for receiving some advice from Anglo-Saxon mentors. Of course, this situation has to be sorted out," he added.

The Paralympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro from September 7 to September 18.

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