A total of 94 Russian athletes who appealed against their suspension from the Paralympic Games here have had individual lawsuits rejected by a court in German city Düsseldorf, it was announced today.
The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) confirmed that the athletes have now taken the matter to Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, requesting that it reviews the case as soon as possible with only five days of the Games remaining.
Last week, 84 Russian athletes had appeals dismissed after filing lawsuits with the state court in German city Bonn, where the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) – the organisation that banned them – is based.
It came just a day after the same court had turned down an attempt from 10 Russian athletes to secure an injunction allowing them to compete at Rio 2016.
The IPC introduced a blanket ban for the entire Russian Paralympic team here in the wake of Richard McLaren’s damning report, which alleged the presence of a state-sponsored doping scheme at a number of major events, including the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven described the anti-doping system in Russia as “broken, corrupted and entirely compromised”, while accusing the Russian Government of “catastrophically failing” its Para-athletes.
The IPC’s position contrasted starkly with that taken by the International Olympic Committee, who opted to defer the decision over the extent of participation of Russian athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympics to the International Federations.
Earlier this month, the IPC rejected more than 175 appeals from Russians hoping to compete at Rio 2016 as neutral participants on the grounds that there is no way to participate other than under a National Paralympic Committee (NPC) banner.
A total of 34 athletes affected have submitted individual appeals to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, who had previously supported the IPC stance.
But a request to speed-up the consideration of these appeals before Rio 2016 was rejected, meaning that none of the cases will be heard until after the Closing Ceremony.
A representative of Belarus’ Rio 2016 Paralympic delegation carried a Russian flag as a gesture of solidarity with the RPC during the Opening Ceremony.
Andrei Fomachkin was a guest of the Belarusian NPC President Oleg Chepel, but should not have been allowed to take part in the Parade of Nations.
He subsequently had his accreditation cancelled last week.
From the Russian alternative Games, for their Paralympic athletes.
Russia’s ban led to the nation setting up an alternative version of the Games, with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko criticising the IPC at the Opening Ceremony in Moscow.
The Games concluded last Friday (September 9).