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2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Sports Court Confirms Russia Ban from Rio Paralympics

Russia is banned from the Paralympic Games in Rio as punishment for a state-backed doping program, after losing an appeal at sport's highest court.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday ruled the decision to ban Russia from the Sept. 7-18 games "was made in accordance with … rules and was proportionate in the circumstances."

It said the International Paralympic Committee "did not violate any procedural rule" in banning the Russian team two weeks ago.

Image: The Russian Paralympic Committee said a further appeal was possible but unlikely.
The Russian Paralympic Committee said a further appeal was possible but unlikely. MAXIM SHIPENKOV / EPA

An appeal by Russia's Paralympic committee to Switzerland's federal court is possible, though unlikely, before the games open, Alexei Karpenko, an attorney representing the Russian athletes, said in televised remarks.

The world Paralympic body used evidence from a World Anti-Doping Agency inquiry into a Russian state-orchestrated program of doping and cover-ups which ran from 2011 to 2015.

Russian authorities also corrupted results at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and Winter Paralympics by swapping tainted doping samples for clean ones at the official WADA-accredited laboratory, the inquiry said.

The IPC said in Rio two weeks ago it had evidence of manipulated doping tests relating to 44 Russian athletes, including 27 from competitors in eight sports that are part of the Paralympic program.

IPC President Philip Craven said Tuesday's ruling was a "sad day for the Paralympic movement, but we hope also a new beginning."

It was "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," he said.

Russia ended the Rio Olympics in fourth place in the medal table. Its athletes won 56 medals, including 19 gold.

With Russia excluded from the Paralympics, the IPC said it will now "redistribute the 267 slots that had been secured by Russian athletes to compete."