The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday (23 August) dismissed an appeal by the Russian Paralympic Committee against its suspension by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The IPC suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August due to its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory).
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “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.
“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.”
Following the CAS panel’s decision, the IPC will now work with International Federations to redistribute the 267 slots that had been secured by Russian athletes to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The CAS press releases is available online.