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Sports court rejects Russian appeal, bars athletes from Rio Olympics

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland: The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday dismissed a Russian appeal against a ban imposed by athletics governing body the IAAF over state-run doping, barring the country’s track and field team from the Rio Games.

“The CAS Panel has confirmed the validity of the IAAF’s decision to apply Rules…which state that athletes whose national federation is suspended by the IAAF are ineligible for competitions held under the IAAF Rules,” a statement from the Lausanne based court said.

The International Olympic Committee had said the CAS ruling will help shape its decision on whether to ban Russia entirely from the Rio Games.

Level playing field

IAAF says rejection of Russia doping appeal creates ‘level playing field for athletes’.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport verdict barred 67 Russian athletes from competing at the Rio Olympic Games starting on August 5.

“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,” said an IAAF statement.

Although relieved at the CAS decision, IAAF president Sebastian Coe cautioned against triumphalism.

“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,” he said.

“I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude.”

Coe stressed that post-Rio, the IAAF would continue to engage with Russia in its fight against doping “to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes so that its federation and team can return to international recognition and competition.”

Russia slams CAS ruling

Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko slammed a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reject an appeal against a ban for doping that will see the track and field team miss the Rio Games.

“In my view, this is a subjective and somewhat politicised decision for which there is no legal basis,” he told TASS news agency.

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