Russian riders to miss Rio Paralympics after appeal lost

  • Russia’s para dressage riders will not be allowed to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympics after an appeal was dismissed.

    The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August in the wake of a report that exposed wide-scale state-sponsored doping in Russia.

    This meant that all Russian athletes were barred from competing in September’s Games.

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today (23 August) rejected an appeal by the Russian Paralympic Committee to overturn the ban.

    Russia had three para dressage riders entered — Natalia Martyanova, Natalya Zhavoronkova and Marina Vinogradova.

    We are of course disappointed by today’s dismissal of the Russian Paralympic Committee appeal to the CAS because it means that our three Russian para equestrian athletes cannot compete in Rio, even though they are clean,” FEI president Ingmar de Vos told H&H.

    “We are now assessing the impact of today’s CAS decision and, together with some of the other international federations that govern disabled sport independently, looking at what options are available to us to protect our clean athletes’ right to natural justice.”

    IPC president Sir Philip Craven added the organisation has “enormous sympathy” for the athletes who will miss out on the Games.

    “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,” said Sir Philip.

    “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.

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    “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 is now working with international federations to redistribute the 267 slots that had been allocated to Russian athletes.

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