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Russia may organize own global Paralympic competition next year — minister

MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/.Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Monday it was possbile that Russia could organize Spartakiad Games for Paralympians in 2017 inviting athletes from around the globe.

"We have revived such Spartakiad of Paralympians in 2011 and the current idea is to organize next year our own Paralympic Games, which will be an open Spartakiad of Russia with the invitation of Paralympians from other countries," Mutko said.

On August 7, the International Paralympic Committee (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 in the 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 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, the Swiss-based court ruled to uphold the ban slapped on the whole Russian Paralympic squad.

In late August, the RPC submitted a motion with the Supreme Federal Court of Switzerland appealing the decision made earlier by the CAS. The motion was eventually rejected by the federal court.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in early September 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.

The alternative competitions for the banned Russian Paralympians were held on September 8 and 9 at the sports facilities in the Moscow Region. A total of 263 athletes took part in the two-day tournament, competing in 18 sports.