Russian Officials Outraged by Court’s Decision to Uphold Paralympics Ban
Russian President Vladimir Putin preferred to keep quiet – but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as well as Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko loudly expressed their sense of outrage about the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold a ban on Russia’s participation in next month’s Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Medvedev said the decision was “cynical” and a blow to all disabled people, adding on his Facebook page: “The story with Russian doping is a thick and very disgusting cocktail with 80 percent politics and 20 percent doping proper. In some countries they find doping very quickly, in others never… This is complete double standards.” Sports Minister Muto also called the CAS decision “politically motivated”, stating that there were no reasons to dismiss the appeal. “The decision is not in the legal framework – it’s more political than judicial. There were no reasons to dismiss [the appeal], but it happened,”
Mutko is quoted as saying by the TASS news Agency, “We will study the possibility of further steps.” He expressed regrets that “those bodies that should defend Paralympians do not do it and punish them instead.”
According to a press release from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) against the decision rendered by Governing Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on 7 August 2016. As a consequence, the IPC decision is confirmed.
“Following revelations related to the doping system in Russia, the IPC Governing Board suspended the RPC from IPC membership due to its alleged inability to fulfil its responsibilities and obligations to comply with the IPC Anti-doping Code and the World Anti-doping Code. The RPC filed a statement of appeal with the CAS in Lausanne on 15 August 2016 challenging the ban imposed by the IPC. The parties agreed to an expedited arbitration procedure with a hearing in Rio de Janeiro on 22 August 2016 in presence of the parties and their representatives.
“The CAS Panel in charge of this matter 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. The Panel also noted that the RPC did not file any evidence contradicting the facts on which the IPC decision was based.
“The parties in this procedure were the International Paralympic Committee and Russian Paralympic Committee exclusively. In making its decision, the CAS Panel did consider the particular status of the RPC as a national governing body but did not determine the existence of, or the extent of, any natural justice rights or personality rights afforded to individual athletes following the suspension of the RPC.”
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.