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Published: 11:27 | 23/8/16

Russia fail in Paralympic appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed an appeal by the Russian Paralympic Committee against its suspension from next month's Paralympic Games in Rio.

The IPC imposed a blanket ban on the entire Russian team following the publication of the McLaren report, which outlined a state-sponsored doping programme.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) against the decision rendered by Governing Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on 7 August 2016. As a consequence, the IPC decision is confirmed," a statement from CAS read.

"Following revelations related to the doping system in Russia, the IPC Governing Board suspended the RPC from IPC membership due to its alleged inability to fulfil its responsibilities and obligations to comply with the IPC Anti-doping Code and the World Anti-doping Code. The RPC filed a statement of appeal with the CAS in Lausanne on 15 August 2016 challenging the ban imposed by the IPC. The parties agreed to an expedited arbitration procedure with a hearing in Rio de Janeiro on 22 August 2016 in presence of the parties and their representatives.

"The CAS Panel in charge of this matter found that the IPC did not violate any procedural rule in dealing with the disciplinary process leading to the RPC’s suspension and that the decision to ban the RPC was made in accordance with the IPC Rules and was proportionate in the circumstances. The Panel also noted that the RPC did not file any evidence contradicting the facts on which the IPC decision was based.

"The parties in this procedure were the International Paralympic Committee and Russian Paralympic Committee exclusively. In making its decision, the CAS Panel did consider the particular status of the RPC as a national governing body but did not determine the existence of, or the extent of, any natural justice rights or personality rights afforded to individual athletes following the suspension of the RPC.

"The full award with the grounds will be issued within the next days."

The IPC took the decision due to the Russian's Paralympic Committee's inability to fulfil its membership responsibilities and obligations.

“We are greatly encouraged that the CAS Panel has upheld the IPC Governing Board’s unanimous decision to hold the Russian Paralympic Committee accountable for its membership responsibilities and obligations.

“Today’s decision underlines our strong belief that doping has absolutely no place in Paralympic sport, and further improves our ability to ensure fair competition and a level playing field for all Para athletes around the world," IPC president Sir Philip Craven said.

“Although we are pleased with the decision, it is not a day for celebration and we have enormous sympathy for the Russian athletes who will now miss out on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. It is a sad day for the Paralympic Movement, but we hope also a new beginning. We hope this decision acts as a catalyst for change in Russia and we can welcome the Russian Paralympic Committee back as a member safe in the knowledge that it is fulfilling its obligations to ensure fair competition for all.

“The IPC Governing Board’s decision was taken with the best interests of the Paralympic Movement at heart, as was the IOC’s ruling for the Olympic Movement which I supported as an IOC Member during the IOC Session.

“As an autonomous organisation with a different governance structure to the IOC, the IPC’s decision was based on the fact that there is one sole IPC member in Russia responsible for both winter and summer Para sport. We found that member - the Russian Paralympic Committee - not to be fulfilling its obligations in regards to the IPC Anti-Doping Code and World Anti-Doping Code and therefore decided to take the best course of action for the Paralympic Movement.

“Following this decision, our full focus is on sport and working with our partners to deliver a successful Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“Beyond Rio 2016, we will work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to establish the criteria the Russian Paralympic Committee needs to meet in order to fulfil all its membership obligations and have its suspension lifted.

“We will also continue to work closely with the IPC Anti-Doping Committee and WADA on the measures to be taken to address the athletes implicated as part of the McLaren Report, including advice on results management.”

The International Olympic Committee did not impose a blanket ban on Russia for the Olympic Games, preferring to leave the decision in the hands of the individual sporting federations.

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