Russia loses appeal over doping: Russian track and field athletes banned from Rio 2016
Sport13:30 Jul. 21, 2016

Russian track and field athletes banned from Rio 2016

CAS rejects appeal on Olympic ban for 68 Russian athletes

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes over the ban imposed on them for next month's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The athletes sought to overturn the ban imposed by the governing body of world athletics, the IAAF, following allegations of the wide-spread doping and state-sponsored cover-ups.

But the CAS has ruled the ban should stay.

The verdict by the CAS, sport's highest tribunal, will be taken into consideration by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as it ponders whether to impose a blanket ban on Russia from all sports.

Reacting to the news the Kremlin said it "deeply regrets the decision, which refers to absolutely all of our athletes." Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said "the principle of collective responsibility is hardly acceptable."

Russia's Olympic pole vault champion Elena Isinbayeva said on Thursday the ban to participate in Rio Olympics amounted to a "funeral of athletics."

Meanwhile the International Association of Athletics Federations said it was pleased that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has supported its position. It said in a statement: "Today's judgment 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."

Read also WADA says meldonium in 49 out of 52 adverse tests on Russian athletes

Despite the ban, the IAAF had previously said a handful of the country's athletes could compete in Rio as neutrals if they meet a number of criteria, including being repeatedly tested outside their homeland.

Based on reporting by Reuters, The Guardian

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