Doping fallout: Russia loses appeal against ban on entire Paralympics team

Russian Paralympic torchbearer Aleksey Ashapatov attends a training session at Yunost sports ground in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, on Aug 8, 2016.
Russian Paralympic torchbearer Aleksey Ashapatov attends a training session at Yunost sports ground in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, on Aug 8, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Reuters - Russia has lost its appeal against its ban from next month's Rio Paralympics because of a state-sponsored doping programme, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), sports highest tribunal, said on Tuesday.

The decision to exclude Russia's entire Paralympics team, initially made on Aug 7 by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), means at least 250 Russian competitors are set to miss the Sept 7-18 event.

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 added that 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 went further than the International Olympic Committee (IOC), 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.

The imbroglio centres on a report for the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) that found the Russian government and the country's FSB security service had for 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.