GENEVA — Two days after Russia finished fourth in the Olympics medal table, its Paralympic team was barred from the next big games in Rio de Janeiro as punishment for a state-backed doping program.
Sports' highest court on Tuesday upheld a decision by the International Paralympic Committee to exclude the superpower. It was a step the IOC declined to take when it had the chance last month.
The 267 entries Russian Paralympic athletes earned in 18 sports for the Sept. 7-18 games in Rio will be allocated to other nations not judged responsible for orchestrated cheating.
Still, the Sochi Winter Games and Winter Paralympics are notorious for results corrupted by state-funded agencies plotting to swap tainted doping samples from Russian athletes for clean ones at official testing laboratories.
In the fallout from those recent revelations — by the Russian lab director who has fled to the United States, and a World Anti-Doping Agency inquiry set up to investigate his claims — the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced its verdict Tuesday.
CAS dismissed the Russian Paralympic Committee's appeal, saying its judges agreed the world Paralympic body "did not violate any procedural rule" in banning the Russian team two weeks ago.
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev blamed the doping ban on politics.
"The investigation about the Russian doping is a thick and disgusting mix containing 80 percent of politics and 20 percent of the actual doping, the politics targeting against sports, Russian athletes and Russia as a country," Medvedev wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Medvedev described the ban as "a doubly cynical decision since we're talking about people who have to overcome themselves every day. It's a blow for all disabled people, not just the Russian ones."
A further appeal to Switzerland's federal court is possible, though unlikely before the games open, an attorney representing the Russian athletes, Alexei Karpenko, said in televised remarks.