Paralympics-Russian athletes blocked from competing as neutrals

By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy MOSCOW, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Russia's disabled athletes will not be allowed to compete as neutrals at this month's Rio de Janeiro Paralympics after their country was banned because of a state-sponsored sports doping programme. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said in a statement on Thursday it had rejected more than 175 Russian athletes who filed individual cases to try to take part in the Brazil event. "The International Paralympic Committee ... will not allow individual Russian athletes to participate as neutral athletes at the Rio Games", the organisation said on its website ( "The decision followed individual requests by more than 175 Russian athletes to compete at the Paralympic Games which open on Sept. 7." Last week the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), sport's highest tribunal, rejected a Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) appeal against the IPC suspension. Russia appealed against the CAS ruling to the Swiss Federal Court, which declined on Wednesday to issue a preliminary injunction that would have let their disabled athletes compete in Rio. The court said it would rule later on the team's ban. RPC president Vladimir Lukin said an alternative event for banned Paralympic athletes would take place outside Moscow on Sept. 7. (Editing by Toby Davis)