Russian Track And Field Athletes Will Stay Banned From Rio Olympics After Appeal Fails

Russia’s track and field athletes will have to sit out the Rio Olympics this summer, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport denied the country’s appeal, upholding a ban instated by the worldwide governing body for track and field sports, the International Association of Athletics Federations, amid a widespread doping controversy.

CAS announced today [PDF] that it 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.”

The IAAF said in a statement that it was pleased CAS supported its position, and that the judgment had “created a level playing field for athletes.”

“This is not a day for triumphant statements,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe said. “I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing.”

He added that going beyond the Rio games, the IAAF’s task force will keep working with Russia “to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes so that its federation and team can return to international recognition and competition.”

There could be more bad news for Russia ahead: earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee said it’s looking into options for enacting a ban on the entire Russian team.

That news came in the wake of a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which seemed to confirm previous allegations by a Russian whistle-blower that the country’s national athletic organizations had been involved in a government-aided campaign to fake results of drug tests.

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