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Medvedev Slams Decision To Uphold Ban On Russian Paralympic Team


Russian Paralympic athlete Aleksei Ashapatov attends a training session in Sochi on August 8.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has slammed a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to uphold a ban of the Russian Paralympic team as "cynical" and a blow to all disabled people not just those in Russia.

Earlier on August 23 Russia lost an appeal against its ban from the Paralympics because of a state-sponsored doping program.

"The story with Russian doping is a thick and very disgusting cocktail with 80 percent politics and 20 percent doping proper", Medvedev said on his Facebook page.

"In some countries they find doping very quickly, in others never. ... This is complete double standards," he added.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (file photo)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (file photo)

The decision to exclude Russia's team, initially made on August 7 by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and now upheld by the CAS, means that at least 260 competitors from the country are now set to miss the September 7-18 event.

In rejecting Russia's appeal against the IPC ban, the Switzerland-based CAS said in a statement that the "suspension and...the decision to ban the RPC [Russian Paralympic Committee] was made in accordance with the IPC rules and was proportionate in the circumstances."

The statement added that the Russian appeal "did not file any evidence contradicting the facts on which the IPC decision was based."

Medvedev's statement echoes earlier comments made by Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who had also slammed the decision to bar the Russian Paralympians from the September 7-18 games in Rio de Janeiro as "political."

"The decision is not in the legal domain," the TASS news agency quoted Mutko as saying. "It is more political than legal. There was no reason for rejection, but it happened."

The IPC had said evidence presented by the World Anti-Doping Agency showed Russia failed in its obligation to abide by world anti-doping rules.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters