MOSCOW, September 5. /TASS/. Russian Paralympians who have been barred from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will continue to defend their rights at European courts, President of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) Vladimir Lukin told TASS on Monday.
Earlier in the day, AP news agency reported that a court in the German city of Bonn had turned down the suit of ten Russian athletes to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) demanding to clear them for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
"Many members of our team are filing suits with national courts. Those seeking to challenge the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) ruling file suits in Switzerland, the country of the court’s location. Those lodging suits to the IPC do it in Germany, where it is headquartered. The athletes are asking only one thing - to do away with the utter piece of injustice and clear absolutely innocent people for participation in the Paralympic Games as they are through all qualification tournaments and have been found guilty of no violations," Lukin said.
The 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro start on September 7, but the event would not see the entire Russian Paralympian team taking part in the competition due to an alleged abuse of performance enhancing drugs.
On August 7, the IPC decided to bar the whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The ruling came on the heels of a report delivered earlier in the summer by the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The commission, led by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, claimed in particular that a total of 35 doping samples were concealed by Russian Paralympic sports between 2012 and 2015. However, it turned out later that not all the stated cases of concealed doping samples concerned the Russian Paralympic Committee. Nevertheless, the IPC decided on collectively punishing the Russian national team.
The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) filed a lawsuit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on August 15 in Lausanne against the IPC’s decision, but eight days later, on August 23, the Swiss-based court ruled to uphold the ban slapped on the whole Russian Paralympic squad.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that Russia would organize alternative competitive events for the barred Russian Paralympic team and the awards for Paralympians would be equal to those promised at the 2016 Rio Games.