Brazil Rio Olympics: Russian Track Athletes Fail to overturn ban appeal: Russian track and field athletes will remain banned from the Olympics following claims the country ran a state-sponsored doping programme.
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 Russian athletes attempted to overturn the suspension, to no avail as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled it can stand. Although, few of the Russian athletes have been allowed to still compete as neutrals at the Rio Games, which start on 5 August.
“It’s sad but rules are rules,” said Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt.
“Doping violations in track and field is getting really bad. If you cheat or go or against the rules, this will scare a lot of people.”, the Jamaican athlete added.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it was pleased CAS offered full has supported its position. The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), which commissioned both independent reports into Russian doping, called on other sports to “consider their responsibilities”. Wada president Craig Reedie said the CAS verdict was about creating a “level playing field”, not “punishing some athletes for the actions of others”.
The ruling has further implications for other Russian Olympic hopefuls. Sources say that a potential blanket ban for all Russia’s athletes by the International Olympic Committee is possible after the recent judgement and its adjoining McLaren report.
Yulia Stepanova, the Russian former drugs cheat whose whistle blowing revelations helped expose the massive doping problem in her country, could be allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics as an independent athlete.
“It’s time to disband the IAAF,” said Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Twitter, who also tweeted ‘”Corrupt judges! How can you deprive clean sportsmen of their dream, and what’s more WADA didn’t present either facts or evidence.”