After discussions between both parties the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) has filed a lawsuit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). These discussions did not break down but rather they were successful as they defined the terms of the suit.
The suit will allow Russia to present their evidence against their suspension from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in a formal setting. And Russia is coming in to this legal fight confident, as would be expected from the Russian state.
The government of Russia was forceful in their language when The Speaker of the Russian Upper House said the IPC offers “declarative statements accusing Russian Paralympic athletes of mass doping abuse, and the Russian authorities – of conniving with this”.
“We couldn’t understand what this decision is based on. Most likely, it’s about the McLaren report [on doping], but that report doesn’t give any data about the Paralympic athletes at all. There is only one table which says that 35 doping test bottles were lost.” Perhaps missing in translation is the confusion about data as the table which mentions lost bottles is data.
Russia will be represented by a well qualified sports lawyer in the shape of Andrey Ryabinsky the current vice-president of the Russian Boxing Federation. Ryabinsky has had some success, winning a lawsuit against the boxing promoter Don King, he will advising the RPC and providing lawyers for their defence.
Ryabinsky was confident when he spoke to the Russian media “I strongly believe we win this case in time. The only thing we have to be worried about is the political issue. The suspension of the Paralympic team is not only offensive to the Russian nation but it is also a dangerous precedent. As soon as I heard the decision, I got in touch with the Paralympic Committee of Russia and offered them support with high-level lawyers. I informed them that I was ready to cover all the expenses myself.”
Time will tell if Ryabinsky is rightly confident as the hearing will now be scheduled quickly to get the process done before the games in Rio commence.