The international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland has dismissed the appeal by the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) for re-admission to the 2016 Paralympic Games that start in two weeks in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This means that no Russian athletes are still not eligible to participate in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) suspended the entire federation – a move that their counterparts at the IOC were unwilling to make in June before the Olympic Games.
The ban is further fallout from the McLaren report, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), that alleged state-sponsored doping and coverups in Russia. While small amount of information from the McLaren report that have made its way out to the media have called into question the initial certainty with which the findings were announced, the IPC, unlike the IOC, has pushed forward with its own investigation. That includes forwarding 19 samples from the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, where the worst tampering is alleged to have happened with Russia as the host country, for more testing.
The CAS, whose primary role in disputes like this is to decide whether or not organizations followed their own rules, 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.”
More interesting is to note that the CAS Panel specifically says that the RPC did not file “any evidence contradicting the facts on which the IPC decision was based.”
The CAS did note that the parties to this case were specifically the IPC and RPC – which is significant because they left the door open for individual appeals from athletes on the basis of “natural justice rights” or “personality rights.”