Top Court for Sport Upholds IAAF Ban on Russian Athletes from Rio OlympicsSports | July 21, 2016, Thursday // 13:44| views
A file picture dated 25 December 2015 of Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko during his end of the year press conference in Moscow, Russia. EPA/BGNES
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld a decision to ban Russian track and field athletes from the Olympic Games in 2016 over alleged state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.
The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) banned Russia from competition in November 2015 after an independent report found evidence of widespread use of doping by the country’s athletes.
“CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and of 68 Russian athletes,” the Lausanne-based court said in a statement.
“The CAS has dismissed both the request for arbitration filed by the ROC and 68 Claimant Athletes, and the appeal filed by 67 of the same athletes against the IAAF decision to consider them as ineligible for the Olympic Games in Rio,” according to the statement.
Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has expressed regrets over the court’s decision.
"Unfortunately, a certain precedent has been established for collective responsibility" for alleged doping violations by individual athletes, Interfax news agency quoted Mutko as saying on Thursday.
Mutko also told TASS news agency that he thought the court ruling was “biased and somewhat politicized”.
The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday slammed the blanket ban on Russian track and field athletes from the Rio Olympics.
"We believe that the principle of collective responsibility is hardly acceptable," Peskov has told journalists, according to TASS.
"We are speaking here about field and track athletes, who had been preparing hard for the Olympics, who have nothing to do with doping, who have nothing to do with accusations and suspicions, who had regularly been tested by foreign anti-doping agencies," Peskov added.