Russia is planning to appeal against the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) decision to ban the country's athletes from the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, according to Oleg Matytsin, the country's Minister of Sport.
The IPC confirmed the decision to bar both Russian and Belarusian Paralympians from the games on Thursday, reversing an earlier announcement that they would be able to participate as neutrals.
Russia's ban was announced just a day before the Beijing Games are scheduled to begin, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had called for such a measure in the face of international pressure and boycott threats from athletes.
Matytsin, speaking to the state-owned news agency TASS, confirmed that Russia is now working on an emergency appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"We are currently working to establish our legal position to file lawsuits on the protection of our athletes' rights, against the discrimination of athletes based on their ethnicity and the use of sports as a tool of a political pressure," he said.
"Today's decision of the International Paralympic Committee to bar our team is a blatant violation of athletes' rights and a manipulation of the Olympic Charter and human lives' values in pursuit of political goals.
"It is extremely inadmissible to put in action any type of sanctions with regard to [Russia's] Paralympians, who have already arrived for the tournament.
"We are drafting a lawsuit to be considered before the Opening Ceremony and the actual start [of the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games]."
The IPC's decision came one week after Russia invaded Ukraine and means that a 71-strong team of Russian Paralympians will be forced to sit out the Games, barring the success of an appeal.
Ukraine, meanwhile, will have 29 representatives in Beijing, while Russian athletes or teams have also been hit with bans by bodies such as the World Athletics Council, FIFA and UEFA, as the international sporting community attempts to apply pressure to the nation.