Russia has lost its appeal against its ban from next month’s Rio Paralympic Games because of a state-sponsored doping programme, according to a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the highest sports tribunal.
The decision to exclude Russia’s entire Paralympics team, initially made on August 7 by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), means at least 250 Russian competitors are set to miss the September 7-18 event.
The CAS said its panel found the IPC “did not violate any procedural rule in dealing with the disciplinary process” which led to Russia’s suspension from the event.
It said the ruling was “proportionate in the circumstances” and that the Russian Paralympic Committee “did not file any evidence contradicting the facts on which the IPC decision was based”.
The IPC had gone further than the International Olympic Committee, which stopped short of a blanket ban on Russia at this month’s Rio Olympics, leaving the decision instead in the hands of international sports federations.
It all started with a report for the World Anti-Doping Agency, which found the Russian government and the FSB security service had over years covered up hundreds of doping cases across the majority of Olympic sports, as well as Paralympic events.
Russia has said that the IPC’s decision is politically motivated and will punish dozens of innocent athletes.