The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Thursday rejected the Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) and 68 athletes appeal against the ban on its athletes from track and field competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Earlier the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was suspended Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) from all international tournaments, including this years’ Summer Olympics, after an independent report found evidence of widespread doping allegedly sponsored by the State.
The ROC and 68 athletes appealed against that decision but CAS has ruled the ban can stand after hearing evidence.
In a verdict released on Thursday, CAS decided unanimously to keep the ban that was imposed by the IAAF, athletics’ governing body, following long and sustained revelations about state-sponsored doping in Russia, The Guardian reported.
“CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes,” the CAS said in a statement.
The verdict will not let Russian athletes, except long jumper Darya Klishina who trained outside Russia, take part in the coming Rio Olympics starting 5 August.
CAS secratary Matthieu Reeb, following the court’s relevant ruling, said the ROC had no right to enter its national field and track athletes for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.
The secretary general noted that ROC could appeal the ruling in the Swiss Federal Court.
The IAAF in a statement has welcomed the ruling to bar Russian field and track athletes from the Rio Olympics.
“The verdict created a level playing field for athletes and upheld the rights of the IAAF to use its rules for the protection of the sport and support the credibility and integrity of competition,” reads the statement.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko considers the ruling politicised and believes it has no legal grounds.
“I can express nothing but regret. We will now consider our further steps. I think this decision is biased and somewhat politicised and has no legal grounds,” Mutko was quoted as saying by Russian News Agency, TASS.
IAAF’s anti-doping department rejected personal applications from all Russian athletes for participation in international competitions, including the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, except for long jumper Darya Klishina, who lives in the United States.