Rus­sia to hold al­ter­na­tive ‘Par­a­lympics’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

MOSCOW — Rus­sia will hold a two-day com­pe­ti­tion next week for its Par­a­lympic squad banned from Rio, the coun­try’s com­mit­tee chief said yes­ter­day, just as the of­fi­cial Games start in Brazil.

“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.

Rus­sia looks set to miss the Par­a­lympics after the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport last week dis­missed an ap­peal against a blan­ket ban over al­le­ga­tions of staterun dop­ing.

The coun­try has ap­pealed to a fed­eral court in Switzer­land against the rul­ing but there ap­pears lit­tle hope of over­turn­ing the sus­pen­sion be­fore the start of the Par­a­lympics in Rio on Septem­ber 7.

Last week Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin lashed out against the ban on the coun­try’s Par­a­lympians, call­ing the de­ci­sion “out­side the law, moral­ity, hu­man­ity”.

Putin pledged that Rus­sia in­stead would or­gan­ise com­pe­ti­tions for the banned Par­a­lympians “to show all their skills”.

A Krem­lin spokesman said yes­ter­day 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, but its track-and-field team was sus­pended over ev­i­dence of state-spon­sored drug cheat­ing and cor­rup­tion in the coun­try. — AFP.

Florentino Perez

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