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German Constitutional Court rejects lawsuits of five Russian Paralympians

September 15, 2016, 21:24 UTC+3 BERLIN

Earlier, the Court of Dusseldorf rejected individual lawsuits of 94 Russian Paralympians

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© Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS

BERLIN, September 15 /TASS/. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany has rejected the individual lawsuits of five Russian Paralympians who appealed against their suspension from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio in order not to block the International Paralympic Committee’s anti-doping signal.

In its statement published on Thursday, the court said it could not cancel or review the previous verdict of the Court of Dusseldorf because it was not creating any considerable restrictions for the claimants.

On Wednesday, the Court of Dusseldorf rejected individual lawsuits of 94 Russian Paralympians, who appealed against the decision to ban them from the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Brazil. Shortly after that, five Russian Paralympians appealed to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany demanding permission to participate in the Games closing ceremony on September 18. One woman Paralympian insisted that she be granted the right to compete in the swimming competitions on September 16.

The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany feared that any other decision would have had large-scale consequences. Had the Constitutional Court suspended the previous verdict but would have still passed a negative decision on the Russian Paralympians, it could have produced a negative impact on the course of the competitions and the games’ closing ceremony. Besides, it would have been a signal to the Paralympic movement and sport in general, the Constitutional Court’s judges said.

"But even if it had been established that the applicants were not involved in the state-directed doping system, the IPC’s decision to ban the Russian Paralympic team from the Olympics would have remained in force," the German Constitutional Court said.

The German Constitutional Court believes that the decisions of national courts on granting permission to individual athletes can seriously affect the IPC autonomy. "A signal, which the IPC sent to the national committees after it had suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) from the Rio Games, was supposed to frighten them away from supporting systematic doping," the German Constitutional Court said adding that the signal could have been muted, had the decision on Russian Paralympians been different.

On August 7, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced its decision to ban the membership of the RPC. The global committee eventually 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).


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