Paralympics: Russia to hold alternative event for banned athletes

An event will be held on Sept 7-8, said Russian Paralympic Committee head Vladimir Lukin (above, in a file photo).
An event will be held on Sept 7-8, said Russian Paralympic Committee head Vladimir Lukin (above, in a file photo).PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia will hold a two-day competition next week for its Paralympic squad banned from Rio, a top sports official said on Wednesday (Aug 31) after Switzerland's federal court rejected their final appeal.

"We're planning to hold on Sept 7-8 a series of tournaments for the country's Paralympic athletes at the training bases in the Moscow region," R-Sport news agency quoted Russia's Paralympic Committee head Vladimir Lukin as saying.

Switzerland's Federal Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal aimed at overturning a blanket ban on Russia from the Paralympics over allegations of state-run doping.

The ruling - which followed an earlier rejection by the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport - means that Russia appears to have exhausted all legal alleyways to get back into the Paralympics before they start on Sept 7.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out against the ban, calling the decision "outside the law, morality, humanity".

But Putin vowed to give Russia's banned Paralympians a platform "to show all their skills".

A Kremlin spokesman said on Wednesday that it was still to be decided if Putin would attend the event.

Russia's Olympic squad narrowly escaped a total ban from the Rio Games, although all of their track and field team except US-based long-jumper Darya Klishina were prevented from competing due to the allegations of state-sponsored drug cheating and corruption.