Crimean Leader Wants To Host Event For Banned Russian Paralympians

Sergey Aksyonov, the Head of the Republic of Crimea, has called for a competition for Paralympic athletes from Russia to be held in the disputed territory next month following the ban on Russia from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

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A blanket ban was imposed on Russia by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) following the release of damning report by Richard McLaren. The McLaren report disclosed a state-sponsored doping scheme in Russia, including at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The appeal of Russian Paralympic Committee against decision of the IPC was recently rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed the appeal of Russia against their suspension by the International Paralympic Committee. A CAS statement read 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 statement further reads the Panel also noted that the RPC did not file any evidence contradicting the facts on which the IPC decision was based and added the parties in this procedure were the International Paralympic Committee and Russian Paralympic Committee exclusively.

IPC President Sir Philip Craven said he "was greatly encouraged" by the CAS decision but added it was a "sad day for the Paralympic Movement".

Russian Paralympic Committee President Vladimir Lukin has said that competitions for Russian Paralympian athletes will be held next month before the start of the Rio Paralympics on September 7, in the event that the national governing body is unsuccessful in its appeal.

Sochi’s Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov has already claimed his city will be more than ready to stage the event but the Head of the Republic of Crimea has expressed his view that Crimea could stage competitions. Aksyonov said he fully backs the idea that Crimea should hold alternative competitions for athletes who have been denied the right to participate in the Paralympics by sports officials and added we understand the reasons behind this is impotent rage. Aksyonov also added the enemies of Russia see that all their attempts of harming this country have failed and went on to add that they tried to take it out on our Olympic athletes - but they failed, and now they are venting their spite on people with disabilities. He also remarked they have once again made the whole world understand that they have neither legal nor moral norms.

Recently, a protest that was said to be attended by around 100 Russians living in Canada took place to rally against the decision to ban the Russian Paralympic team. Leon Mitsner, the head of the Russian Canada group, remarked members of various public associations based in Toronto and regular members of the Russian-speaking community came to the action and also added that our main demand boils down to a revision of the World Anti-Doping Agency's ruling on a blanket ban of all the Russian Para-athletes from the Games.

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