The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) will appeal in the Swiss Federal Court on Monday (August 29) against the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to uphold a blanket ban on their athletes from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Earlier this week, CAS dismissed the RPC’s appeal against their suspension by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The IPC opted to impose a blanket ban on the nation on August 7 following the release of Richard McLaren’s damning report, which revealed a state-sponsored doping scheme in the country, including at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
The CAS ruling can only be overturned by the Swiss Federal Court on the basis of a procedural mistake and not on the merits of the case.
RPC President Vladimir Lukin has said that competitions for Russian Para-athletes will be held next month, before the start of the Paralympics on September 7, in the event that the national governing body is unsuccessful in its appeal.
Sochi’s Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov has told news agency TASS that the city would be willing to host the event, which came after RPC Executive Committee member Mikhail Terentyev suggested it could be hosted either there or in Crimea.
"We won’t be able to attach international status to these competitions because they will be held immediately in the run-up to the Games," Lukin told Echo of Moscow radio station.
"Still we hope we’ll be no need to organise them, as our Para-athletes will eventually perform at the Games.
"But if this doesn’t happen, the competitions will be held ahead of the Games in early September."
In his report, Canadian lawyer McLaren alleged what he described as the "disappearing positive methodology" - where positive samples were switched for clean ones.
A total of 35 "disappearing positives" were found in Paralympic sport, according to the report, although only 21 of these were within the IPC remit.
But since then, another 10 such cases have been brought to the attention of the governing body.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven described the anti-doping system in Russia as "broken, corrupted and entirely compromised", while accusing the Russian Government of "catastrophically failing" its Para-athletes.
The Briton also said the "medals over morals" attitude in the country "disgusts" me.
The decision to exclude Russia's team means at least 260 competitors from the country are now set to miss the Paralympics, which are scheduled to conclude on September 18.
The IPC position contrasted starkly with that taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who opted to defer the decision over the extent of participation of Russian athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympics to the International Federations (IFs).
Russia went on to claim 19 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze medals at the Olympic Games, but their athletics team were absent having been banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
The IPC’s choice to impose a ban on the RPC, which came after suspension proceedings were opened in July, has been criticised by a number of organisations, such as the Association of National Olympic Committees, and IFs.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the ban on Russian athletes as “outside the bounds of law, morality and humanity".
The differing stances of the IPC and IOC seems to have elevated tensions between the two governing bodies ahead of the Paralympics, which will take place amid dire economic problems.
Russia won 80 medals at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics on home soil, including 30 golds.
They topped the medal table by some distance with second-placed Germany only winning 15 medals, nine of them gold.