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Dublin: -1°C Sunday 24 January 2021

Russia to hold alternative event to Paralympics for their banned athletes

They’re hosting a two-day event in Moscow.

Image: Ivan Sekretarev

RUSSIA WILL HOLD a two-day competition next week for its Paralympic squad banned from Rio, a top sports official said on Wednesday after Switzerland’s federal court rejected their final appeal.

“We’re planning to hold on September 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 7 September.

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.

© AFP 2016

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