MOSCOW, August 24 /TASS/. Vladimir Lukin, the head of the Russian Paralympic Committee, told journalists on Wednesday that all the 266 Russian Paralympians could submit individual complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to challenge the International Paralympic Committee decision to ban them from competing in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
On August 23, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) turned down an appeal of the Russian Paralympic Committee against the IPC decision to bar the Russian Paralympic team from competing in the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. So Russian Paralympians will have no chance to participate in the games.
"The ECHR should study attentively the individual complaints of 266 athletes. We consider ourselves to be absolutely innocent," Lukin stressed.
Pavel Rozhkov, the first vice-president of the Russian Paralympic Committee, told journalists that the Paralympians were negotiating a possibility to file individual lawsuits. "The Paralympians are already consulting lawyers about individual lawsuits. But the situation is fundamentally different from the one involving our Olympians. The thing is that Paralympians have no right to file lawsuits to CAS," Rozhkov explained.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) used McLaren’s report to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee membership and bar Russian Paralympians from the Rio Games.
The Russian Paralympic Committee submitted an appeal to CAS on August 15.
On August 23, CAS ruled that the International Olympic Committee had not violated any procedures as it made its decision, which was in full compliance with the international federation’s rules and was proportionate under the current circumstances. According to CAS, the Russian Paralympic Committee had failed to provide sufficient proof to refute the IPC decision.
On July 22, the International Paralympic Committee opened a case against the Russian Paralympic Committee after it had received the names of 35 Russian Paralympians mentioned in the now ill-famous McLaren report.
The Paralympic Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro on September 7-18.