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Russia to appeal CAS ruling in Swiss Supreme Court — lawyer

August 23, 14:28 UTC+3
According to the lawyer, Russian Paralympic athletes will not compete in the 2016 Games in any case
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© AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) will try to appeal against the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on banning Russians from the 2016 Paralympic Games in the Supreme Court of Switzerland, but Russian athletes will not compete in the Games, Alexei Karpenko, a lawyer representing the committee’s interests in the CAS told the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Tuesday.

"We are very disappointed by the CAS decision. A team of lawyers of the Russian Paralympic Committee was sure that Russian athletes would be allowed to compete at the 2016 Games even if the RPC were suspended," Karpenko said. "There is a violation of human rights, so the RPC will appeal against the CAS decision in Switzerland’s Supreme Court. However, the process will take between one and two years. Due to this, Russian Paralympic athletes will not compete in the 2016 Games."

"We will wait for the decision in its final form, the motivated part is expected within five or seven days. When it is published, we will think what arguments can be given to challenge the decision in the Swiss Federal Court," said Karpenko.

IPC used media quotes as arguments in CAS

According to Karpenko, the IPC used quotes from mass media as an argument to explain its decision to keep Russian parathletes away from the 2016 Paralympics. 

"The CAS took a formalistic and politicized stance. Our opponents presented a 73-page document. Half of it contained quotes from the world media critical of the Russian anti-doping system. It was an extremely politicized position. The formal argument they put forward was the IPC is an organization in its own right that makes decision it feels appropriate and the CAS is not in the position to change them," Karpenko said.

"I’m very disappointed the Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed with these purely formalistic arguments and violated the fundamental human rights and principles of international law. All these rights have been trample don by the International Paralympic committee and then by the CAS. I believe this is a black day for world sports justice," he said.

The CAS on Tuesday turned down the RPC’s protest against the decision to ban Russian parathletes from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Russia will be absent from the Games.

Earlier, the IPC disqualified the RPC and prohibited Russian athletes from the 2016 Paralympics on the basis of a report by the Richard McLaren-led independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The RPC lodged a protest on August 15.

The CAS ruled that the IPC did not violate any procedural rules in pronouncing its verdict, saying it was adopted in compliance with the rules of the international federation and proportionate to the current circumstances. 

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 to the circumstances," the statement read. According to the court, "the RPC did not file any evidence contradicting the facts on which the IPC’s decision was based," it said.

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

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