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Published: 11:28 | 21/7/16

CAS upholds Russian suspension


The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld the decision to ban Russian track and field athletes from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia from track and field events in November 2015 following the publication of an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that showed a culture of widespread, state-sponsored doping.

The Russian Olympic Committee and 68 athletes appealed the decision but CAS has upheld the decision.

"The Cas panel confirmed that the ROC is not entitled to nominate Russian track and field athletes to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games considering that they are not eligible to participate under the IAAF competition rules," a CAS spokesman said.

The IAAF has welcomed CAS's ruling, believing it ensures a 'level playing field for athletes'.

"The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has taken a strong stance on upholding the World Anti-Doping Code without fear and favour and is pleased that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has supported its position," a statement read.

"Today’s judgement 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.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “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. I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude. Beyond Rio the IAAF Taskforce will continue to work with Russia to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes so that its federation and team can return to international recognition and competition.".

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is examining its legal options before deciding whether to ball all Russian competitors from the Olympic Games.

The McLaren report, which was published on Monday, found that Russia operated a state-sponsored doping system during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Led by Canadian law professor and sports lawyer Richard McLaren, the independent commission found that Russia's Ministry of Sport "directed, controlled and oversaw" the manipulation of samples provide by its athletes.


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