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Five Georgian athletes will contest at Rio Paralympics

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, August 30
Five Georgian athletes instead of the previously intended two will participate at the Rio Summer Paralympic Games on September 7-18, after the whole of the Russian Paralympic team was barred from competing due to the doping-related scandal.

The five Georgian athletes representing Georgia’s Paralympic team are:

Zviad Gogochuri-Judo; Lika Chachibaia- Swimming; Irma Khetsuriani- Fencing; AkakiJincharadze- Powerlifting, and; Vano Tsiklauri-Archery.

Only Gogochuri and Chachibaia would have contested in Rio if the Russian Paralympic team, composed of 267 competitors in 18 sports, had not been barred from competing because of Russia’s ongoing doping scandal.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released a report by Professor Richard H. McLaren prior to the Rio Olympic Games, which said Russia had operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the vast majority of summer and winter Olympic sports.

In particular, the report said the programme was in action from late 2011 - including the build-up to London 2012 - and continued through the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics until August 2015.

The Russian Olympic Team was not barred from participating in the Rio Games, as a result of which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was criticized by many.

More than 270 Russian athletes participated in this year’s Olympics on August 5-25 with 56 winning medals on the Olympic table.

However, last Tuesday the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) upheld the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) decision to ban all Russian competitors, which led to the banning of Russia’s Paralympic Team at this year’s competition.

The banning of Russia’s team gave a chance some other countries to be represented with more athletes at the Paralympic Games.

Delegations from 176 nations with 4.500 athletes are scheduled to participate in the Rio Paralympic Games.