10:54 Jul. 21, 2016
Russian athletes may be banned from participation on accusation of doping abuse
The Court of Arbitration for Sport will rule on July 21st on an appeal filed by Russia's Olympic track-and-field team against a ban imposed by the sport's governing body over doping charges.
The ruling is expected to help determine whether the International Olympic Committee excludes the entire Russian team - across all sports, not just track - following new allegations of a state-sponsored doping program that covered many Olympic sports.
The committee has said it would "explore the legal options" for a total ban on Russia at the Rio Olympics next month but would wait until the Geneva arbitration court rules before making a final decision.
A World Anti-Doping Agency report this week accused Russia's Sports Ministry of orchestrating a vast doping program that affected 28 Summer and Winter Olympic sports. The Russian appeal of the track ban was heard by the Geneva court on July 19th.
If the court throws out the ban on Russian track athletes and they are let back into the Olympics, that would seemingly rule out a blanket ban on Russian teams. If the court upholds the athletics ban, however, that would keep the total ban option open.