Rio 2016: CAS uphold Olympic ban on Russian athletes

Associated Press

Russian athletes will not be able to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport backed a decision to ban them over alleged doping.

Following an independent report that uncovered widespread drug use, the team was suspended by the sport’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Russia’s Olympic committee – and 68 of the country’s athletes – appealed but CAS has ruled the decision will remain.

The IOC is still considering a decision to ban all the competitors after a second report into state-sponsored doping and cover-ups of positive tests, allegedly organised with the help of the FSB – the modern successor to Russia’s KGB.

The IAAF backed the decision in a statement on its website. It read: “The IAAF has taken a strong stance on upholding the World Anti-Doping Code without fear and favour and is pleased that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has supported its position.

Sebastian Coe, IAAF’s President, attends a press conference – Reuters

“Today’s judgement has created a level playing field for athletes. The CAS award upholds the rights of the IAAF to use its rules for the protection of the sport, to protect clean athletes and support the credibility and integrity of competition.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe was also quoted in the statement. He said: “While we are thankful that our rules and our power to uphold our rules and the anti doping code have been supported, this is not a day for triumphant statements. I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude.

“Beyond Rio the IAAF Taskforce will continue to work with Russia to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes so that its federation and team can return to international recognition and competition.”

Originally Published on Eurosport

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